178 research outputs found

    Agrarian structure in Poland : the myth of large-farm superiority

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    In Poland, present policies are aimed at promoting large, mechanized farms over smaller family farms. These policies are based on the perception that large farms offer real economies of scale. But international evidence indicates that such large, mechanized farms are generally less efficient and use less labor than small family farms. The authors analyzed the relationship between farm size and efficiency in Polish agriculture. They used two different methods to do so. First they determined differences in total factor productivity between small and large farms. They then used Data Envelope Analysis to estimate scale efficiencies. The results show that, for the sample of farms analyzed: 1) large farms are not more efficient than smaller farms; and 2) smaller farms are more labor-intensive than larger farms. These results have important policy implications for farm restructuring in Poland and other transition economies facing similar issues and conditions.Environmental Economics&Policies,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems,Banks&Banking Reform,Economic Theory&Research,Banks&Banking Reform,Environmental Economics&Policies,Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Livestock&Animal Husbandry

    A Historical-Educational Investigation into the Decision To Remove Religious Education from Public Schools in South Africa

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    This article aims at providing an answer to the question whether the government’s removal of religious education from the public schools of South Africa can be justified from a historical-educational perspective. In order to answer this question, a historical-educational investigation, based on the historical-educational method, was undertaken concerning relevant information pertaining to three foci: formal South African education during early colonial days, nineteenth century education at the Cape and the philosophy of Christian National Education. The latter is interrogated in terms of its meaning and aims, its support of the religious-political ideas of Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) and its ties with the Afrikaner Broederbond (“Afrikaner Brotherhood”). This article concludes that the decision to remove religious education which featured in subjects from public schools was justified. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p161

    The Real-time Forecasting Performance of Phillips Curves

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    Analysts typically use a variety of techniques to forecast inflation. These include both ‘bottom-up’ approaches, for near-term forecasting, as well as econometric methods (such as mark-up models of inflation, which have been found to perform quite well for Australia – see de Brouwer and Ericsson (1998)). One of the econometric approaches to inflation forecasting which is sometimes considered is the use of Phillips curves based on estimates of the output gap. This paper suggests, however, that the real-time capacity of such Phillips curves to forecast inflation is limited, relative even to such simple benchmark forecasting approaches as an autoregressive (AR) model of inflation or a random walk assumption. It appears that the lack of precision with which output-gap-based Phillips curves can be estimated in real time limits their usefulness as a means of forecasting inflation in isolation. Phillips curve-based forecasts may, however, perform a little better than AR model-based ones in at least predicting whether inflation will increase or decrease from its current level. Moreover, combining Phillips curve-based forecasts with those from simple, alternative approaches does seem to offer some scope for improving the real-time forecast accuracy of the latter. These observations suggest that, in spite of their generally disappointing performance as a means of forecasting inflation in isolation, output-gap-based Phillips curves may continue to be useful in real time – as a tool for conditioning gap estimates within a multivariate filtering framework, and as a possible complement to other, alternative inflation forecasting approaches.monetary policy; forecasting inflation; output gaps; real-time data

    A framework for knowledge management system adoption in small and medium enterprises

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    Knowledge is a key competitive advantage for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a way of competing with other organisations. There is a need to investigate SME adoption of knowledge management systems (KMSs). Knowledge management systems can only assist in this task if they are sufficiently adopted. The purpose of this research was to develop a conceptual framework for KMS adoption within an SME context. The research aimed to explore the interdependencies between various contextual KMS adoption factors, namely the technology, organization, environmental and human behavioural contexts. Four mini-focus groups were conducted and included employees in SMEs. Thematic analysis identified nine themes that describe the dynamics that either promote or prevent KMS adoption. The findings provide deeper insights into the influencing factors in KMS adoption to enhance SME performance and competitiveness. The KMS adoption framework can be applied to improve the adoption of technology in SMEs. Future research could include SMEs in specific industries to compare adoption factors and could also include larger organisations.Graduate School of Business Leadershi

    Treatment outcomes of patients on Second-line Antiretroviral Therapy in resource-limited settings: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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    A growing proportion of patients on antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings have switched to second-line regimens. We carried out a systematic review in order to summarize reported rates and reasons for virological failure among people on second-line therapy in resource-limited settings

    Molecular characterization of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from various healthcare institutions in Nairobi, Kenya: a cross sectional study

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    Background: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) has established itself over the years as a major cause of morbidity and mortality both within the community and in healthcare settings. Methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in particular has been a major cause of nosocomial infections resulting in significant increase in healthcare costs. In Africa, the MRSA prevalence has been shown to vary across different countries. In order to better understand the epidemiology of MRSA in a setting, it is important to define its population structure using molecular tools as different clones have been found to predominate in certain geographical locations. Methods: We carried out PFGE, MLST, SCCmec and spa typing of selected S. aureus isolates from a private and public referral hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. Results: A total of 93 S. aureus isolates were grouped into 19 PFGE clonal complexes (A–S) and 12 singletons. From these, 55 (32 MRSA and 23 MSSA) representative isolates from each PFGE clonal complex and all singletons were spa typed. There were 18 different MRSA spa types and 22 MSSA spa types. The predominant MRSA spa type was t037 comprising 40.6 % (13/32) of all MRSA. In contrast, the MSSA were quite heterogeneous, only 2 out of 23 MSSA shared the same spa type. Two new MRSA spa types (t13149 and t13150) and 3 new MSSA spa types (t13182, t13193 and t13194) were identified. The predominant clonal complex was CC 5 which included multi-locus sequence types 1, 8 and 241. Conclusion: In contrast to previous studies published from Kenya, there’s marked genetic diversity amongst clinical MRSA isolates in Nairobi including the presence of well-known epidemic MRSA clones. Given that these clones are resident within our referral hospitals, adherence to strict infection control measures needs to be ensured to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with hospital acquired MRSA infections