news 2017



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Politics - Economics - 19.12.2017
Street signs
Street signs
Day after day in early 2011, massive crowds gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square, calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Away from the square, the protests had another effect, as a study co-authored by an MIT professor shows. The demonstrations lowered the stock market valuations of politically connected firms - and showed how much people thought a full democratic revolution was possible.

History / Archeology - Economics - 18.12.2017
Calf's foot jelly and a tankard of ale? Welcome to the 18th century Starbucks
Calf’s foot jelly and a tankard of ale? Welcome to the 18th century Starbucks
Researchers have published details of the largest collection of artefacts from an early English coffeehouse ever discovered. Described as an 18th century equivalent of Starbucks, the finds nonetheless suggest that it may have been less like a café, and more like an inn. Coffee houses were important social centres during the 18th century.

Health - Economics - 13.12.2017
Hydraulic fracturing decreases infant health, study finds
A new study co-authored by Prof. Michael Greenstone finds infants born to mothers living up to about 2 miles from a hydraulic fracturing site suffer from poorer health. From North Dakota to Texas to Pennsylvania, hydraulic fracturing has transformed many places in America into energy powerhouses.

Computer Science - Economics - 06.12.2017
Try this! Researchers devise better recommendation algorithm
Try this! Researchers devise better recommendation algorithm
The recommendation systems at websites such as Amazon and Netflix use a technique called "collaborative filtering." To determine what products a given customer might like, they look for other customers who have assigned similar ratings to a similar range of products, and extrapolate from there. The success of this approach depends vitally on the notion of similarity.

Economics - 17.11.2017
Grade inflation adds thousands to the cost of a family home
Grade inflation adds thousands to the cost of a family home
Grade inflation at English primary schools can increase the price of surrounding houses by up to £7,000, according to early research from economists at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). The study finds that as parents are drawn to areas with what appear to be higher school scores, the demand for housing escalates and poorer residents are driven out.

Economics - Mathematics - 10.11.2017
No-growth economy could mean fewer crashes and higher wages, study shows
No-growth economy could mean fewer crashes and higher wages, study shows
No-growth economy could mean fewer crashes and higher wages, study shows An economy based on zero growth could be more stable - experiencing fewer crashes - and bring higher wages, suggests a new University of Sussex study. Running counter to dominant economic thinking, the new research shows that economies can be stable with or without growth and are in fact likely to be less volatile if we stop chasing ever-increasing GDP.

Economics - Health - 02.11.2017
Child neglect linked to parental unemployment
The number of reported cases of child neglect in the United States of America increased as a result of the spike in unemployment following the financial crisis of 2007-08, according to new Oxford University research. Defined as the physical, mental, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect of a person under the age of 18, child maltreatment is a prolific problem in American society, with about 700,000 cases reported in 2015 alone.

Health - Economics - 01.11.2017
Prenatal Medicaid benefits boost health gains across generations
ANN ARBOR-The expansion of Medicaid to provide low-income women with prenatal care in the 1980s and 1990s was a success in improving birth outcomes. Children with mothers who benefited from this program were not only healthier at birth, but also more likely to graduate high school and have higher incomes.

Economics - 01.11.2017
Ensuring the survival of elephants in Laos : a matter of economics
Ensuring the survival of elephants in Laos : a matter of economics
Asian elephant populations in Laos, which are under a process of commodification, have dropped by half in the last 30 years.

Economics - 31.10.2017
How impatience guides financial behavior
How impatience guides financial behavior
Imagine you are receiving a refund payment from the federal government. Are you going to spend it right away or save the money? Is that decision based on your short-term finances' Or does it hinge on whether you identify yourself as a "spender" or a "saver" more generally? A new study by an MIT economist sheds more light on the quirks of people's actions in such cases and suggests that, in addition to immediate financial needs, persistent behavioral characteristics play a key role in even short-term pocketbook decisions.

Environment - Economics - 25.10.2017
Global biodiversity conservation does save species, but could be done smarter
Global biodiversity conservation does save species, but could be done smarter
New analysis reveals that billions of dollars spent on habitat and species conservation have resulted in substantial reductions in biodiversity loss. Government spending on conservation efforts, such as management of national parks, has been patchy across the world, in part due to a lack of solid evidence of success.

Innovation - Economics - 24.10.2017
Testing the test beds: new Christian Doppler lab at TU Graz
Testing the test beds: new Christian Doppler lab at TU Graz
Starting shot for Christian Doppler Laboratory for Model-Based Control of Complex Test Bed Systems. From vehicles to solar energy systems, practically all systems are becoming more and more complex, are being quickly further developed, and have to be comprehensively tested before use. This calls for suitable high-performance and flexible test beds; but developing them is extremely challenging.

Environment - Economics - 19.10.2017
A seemingly symbolic action shifted the climate change debate
ANN ARBOR-On the face of it, environmentalist Bill McKibben's international climate campaign to have universities divest fossil fuel assets had limited success. Only a handful of institutions pledged to divest and it didn't affect the stocks of fossil fuel companies. But a new study by University of Michigan sustainable enterprise professor Andy Hoffman and Temple University's Todd Schifeling, a former postdoc with U-M's Erb and Graham institutes, shows McKibben's activism might have been successful in another way.

Mechanical Engineering - Economics - 19.10.2017
Road charges could ease Melbourne’s gridlock, research shows
Charging drivers at peak times could be the best way to help ease Melbourne's traffic woes, according to new research by the University of Melbourne. In a working paper,  Can Road Changes Alleviate Congestion , researchers Dr Leslie Martin and Mr Sam Thornton, from the Faculty of Business and Economics, analysed the economic and social impact of different charges levied on road use in Victoria.

Economics - 18.10.2017
Families pass on disadvantage, finds world-first welfare analysis
Almost two decades of Australian welfare payment data paints a picture of disadvantage, as researchers find children of parents on benefits are almost twice as likely to receive benefits too by their early 20s. An extensive study of welfare payments to more than 100,000 Australians has provided comprehensive evidence that young people are almost twice as likely to receive welfare by their early 20s, if their parents have also received benefits.

Economics - 16.10.2017
Every $1 spent returns $7.10 in exports
It's clear Australian aid is serving our national interests through growing economies in our neighbourhood, which then provides benefits to Australian exporters. New economic modelling from The Australian National University (ANU) has found that every additional $1 spent on Australian foreign aid in Asia has resulted in $7.10 in Australian exports.

Social Sciences - Economics - 04.10.2017
To kick-start creativity, offer money, not plaudits, study finds
To kick-start creativity, offer money, not plaudits, study finds
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — How should employers reward creative types for turning in fresh, inventive work: with a plaque or a party recognizing their achievement, or with cold, hard cash? According to new research co-written by a University of Illinois expert in product development and marketing, it's all about the money, honey.

Career - Economics - 04.10.2017
New Study, The Downside to Downtime at Work
AUSTIN, Texas - Companies in the United States pay more than $100 billion in wages every year for time that employees spend idle, according to new research from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. In a nationally representative survey across a variety of occupational categories, McCombs Assistant Professor Andrew Brodsky and co-author Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School found that 78.1 percent of employees experience idle time at work, with 21.7 percent of employees experiencing idle time on a daily basis.

Economics - 28.09.2017
Diversification benefits of commodities
Diversification benefits of commodities
Investment portfolios that include commodities deliver a six per cent average increase in risk-adjusted returns for investors. The finding comes from a study co-authored by a researcher at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Thursday 28 September 2017 The research shows that certain commodity strategies make investors better off when included in portfolios that consist of stocks, bonds, and cash.

Economics - Health - 14.09.2017
Stanford scholars say big ideas are getting harder to find
Research from Stanford economists finds that productivity has not matched the exponential increases in research development, suggesting the next big idea may be harder to formulate. Modern-day inventors - even those in the league of Steve Jobs - will have a tough time measuring up to the productivity of the Thomas Edisons of the past.
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