421 research outputs found

    The Ultimatum Game, Distribution Of Income And Re-Distributive Policy

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    In this paper we examine the ultimatum game’s income distribution and efficiency implications and modify the game to investigate the impact of re-distributional policies imposed on the parties

    Incorporating Policymaker Costs and Political Competition into Rent-Seeking Games

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    We incorporate policymaker costs of supplying rents and variable intensities of competition among rent seekers into the standard rent-seeking game. By incorporating these aspects, the game has greater verisimilitude to the lobbying process. The first aspect captures the fact that in rent-seeking contests there is a positive probability that neither firm will obtain the rent. The second aspect captures the fact that firms seeking different rents still must compete for policymakers\u27 resources. We find that lobbying expenditures, rent-seeking profits, and rent dissipation depend on the intensity of competition and the value of the rent relative to policymaker costs. For example, if the value of the rent is sufficiently high relative to policymakers\u27 costs, an increase in the intensity of political competition will increase lobbying expenditures; otherwise, expenditures fall as competitive intensity increases. In addition, the model establishes pure-strategy equilibria with underdissipation where only mixed-strategy equilibria exist in the standard model

    Cytotoxic Mediators in Paradoxical HIV-Tuberculosis Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome

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    Tuberculosis-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (TB-IRIS) frequently complicates combined antiretroviral therapy and antituberculosis therapy in HIV-1–coinfected tuberculosis patients. The immunopathological mechanisms underlying TB-IRIS are incompletely defined, and improved understanding is required to derive new treatments and to reduce associated morbidity and mortality. We performed longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses of human PBMCs from paradoxical TB-IRIS patients and non-IRIS controls (HIV-TB–coinfected patients commencing antiretroviral therapy who did not develop TB-IRIS). Freshly isolated PBMC stimulated with heat-killed Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv (hkH37Rv) were used for IFN-γ ELISPOT and RNA extraction. Stored RNA was used for microarray and RT-PCR, whereas corresponding stored culture supernatants were used for ELISA. Stored PBMC were used for perforin and granzyme B ELISPOT and flow cytometry. There were significantly increased IFN-γ responses to hkH37Rv in TB-IRIS, compared with non-IRIS PBMC (p = 0.035). Microarray analysis of hkH37Rv-stimulated PBMC indicated that perforin 1 was the most significantly upregulated gene, with granzyme B among the top five (log(2) fold difference 3.587 and 2.828, respectively), in TB-IRIS. Downstream experiments using RT-PCR, ELISA, and ELISPOT confirmed the increased expression and secretion of perforin and granzyme B. Moreover, granzyme B secretion reduced in PBMC from TB-IRIS patients during corticosteroid treatment. Invariant NKT cell (CD3(+)Vα24(+)) proportions were higher in TB-IRIS patients (p = 0.004) and were a source of perforin. Our data implicate the granule exocytosis pathway in TB-IRIS pathophysiology. Further understanding of the immunopathogenesis of this condition will facilitate development of specific diagnostic and improved therapeutic options

    "It All Ended in an Unsporting Way": Serbian Football and the Disintegration of Yugoslavia, 1989-2006

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    Part of a wider examination into football during the collapse of Eastern European Communism between 1989 and 1991, this article studies the interplay between Serbian football and politics during the period of Yugoslavia's demise. Research utilizing interviews with individuals directly involved in the Serbian game, in conjunction with contemporary Yugoslav media sources, indicates that football played an important proactive role in the revival of Serbian nationalism. At the same time the Yugoslav conflict, twinned with a complex transition to a market economy, had disastrous consequences for football throughout the territories of the former Yugoslavia. In the years following the hostilities the Serbian game has suffered decline, major financial hardship and continuing terrace violence, resulting in widespread nostalgia for the pre-conflict era

    Bounded rationality and the Brexit negotiations:Why Britain failed to understand the EU

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    Research on the Brexit negotiations has linked the problems faced by Britain to flawed assumptions in the UK’s perception of EU interests. These include the idea that the EU would be open to compromise on key principles, that it would offer the UK a bespoke relationship, that national capitals would respond favourably to bilateral initiatives, and that EU unity would not hold. Yet the origins of these assumptions have been subject to little systematic scrutiny. How did such wrong-headed assumptions about the EU’s interests emerge? Drawing on insights from bounded rationality we identify three aspects of the decision-making environment linked with biased thinking: (1) ill-fitting routines and lessons, (2) a lack of decision-making openness, and (3) a lack of EU expertize and contact. We demonstrate our argument using data obtained from interviews in Brussels and London in 2017–18 and accounts of those involved in the decisions

    A Critical Review of the \u3csup\u3e15\u3c/sup\u3eN\u3csub\u3e2\u3c/sub\u3e Tracer Method to Measure Diazotrophic Production in Pelagic Ecosystems

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    Dinitrogen (N2) fixation is an important source of biologically reactive nitrogen (N) to the global ocean. The magnitude of this flux, however, remains uncertain, in part because N2 fixation rates have been estimated following divergent protocols and because associated levels of uncertainty are seldom reported—confounding comparison and extrapolation of rate measurements. A growing number of reports of relatively low but potentially significant rates of N2 fixation in regions such as oxygen minimum zones, the mesopelagic water column of the tropical and subtropical oceans, and polar waters further highlights the need for standardized methodological protocols for measurements of N2 fixation rates and for calculations of detection limits and propagated error terms. To this end, we examine current protocols of the 15N2 tracer method used for estimating diazotrophic rates, present results of experiments testing the validity of specific practices, and describe established metrics for reporting detection limits. We put forth a set of recommendations for best practices to estimate N2 fixation rates using 15N2 tracer, with the goal of fostering transparency in reporting sources of uncertainty in estimates, and to render N2 fixation rate estimates intercomparable among studies

    Assessing the authority of political office-holders: the leadership capital index

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    This article argues that the extent to which political office-holders can effectively attain and wield authority is a function of the stock of ‘leadership capital.’ Drawing on the concept of political capital, we define leadership capital as aggregate authority composed of three dimensions: skills; relations; and reputation of a leader. Leadership capital ebbs and flows over time within a trajectory of acquisition, expenditure and inevitable depreciation. We present a Leadership Capital Index (LCI) that systematically maps out the three broad areas combining concrete measures with interpretive aspects. This can be used as a tool for systematically tracking and comparing the political fortunes of leaders in a way that is both more nuanced and robust than exclusive reliance on the latest approval ratings. We offer an illustrative case study of Tony Blair demonstrating the LCI. We conclude by discerning several promising paths for future development of the LCI

    Celecoxib exerts protective effects in the vascular endothelium via COX-2-independent activation of AMPK-CREB-Nrf2 signalling

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    Although concern remains about the athero-thrombotic risk posed by cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2-selective inhibitors, recent data implicates rofecoxib, while celecoxib appears equivalent to NSAIDs naproxen and ibuprofen. We investigated the hypothesis that celecoxib activates AMP kinase (AMPK) signalling to enhance vascular endothelial protection. In human arterial and venous endothelial cells (EC), and in contrast to ibuprofen and naproxen, celecoxib induced the protective protein heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Celecoxib derivative 2,5-dimethyl-celecoxib (DMC) which lacks COX-2 inhibition also upregulated HO-1, implicating a COX-2-independent mechanism. Celecoxib activated AMPKα(Thr172) and CREB-1(Ser133) phosphorylation leading to Nrf2 nuclear translocation. Importantly, these responses were not reproduced by ibuprofen or naproxen, while AMPKα silencing abrogated celecoxib-mediated CREB and Nrf2 activation. Moreover, celecoxib induced H-ferritin via the same pathway, and increased HO-1 and H-ferritin in the aortic endothelium of mice fed celecoxib (1000 ppm) or control chow. Functionally, celecoxib inhibited TNF-α-induced NF-κB p65(Ser536) phosphorylation by activating AMPK. This attenuated VCAM-1 upregulation via induction of HO-1, a response reproduced by DMC but not ibuprofen or naproxen. Similarly, celecoxib prevented IL-1β-mediated induction of IL-6. Celecoxib enhances vascular protection via AMPK-CREB-Nrf2 signalling, a mechanism which may mitigate cardiovascular risk in patients prescribed celecoxib. Understanding NSAID heterogeneity and COX-2-independent signalling will ultimately lead to safer anti-inflammatory drugs