Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: asymmetries

23 Asymmetries in Monetary Policy Response: The Role of Uncertainty in the Case of Nigeria

Authors: Elias Udeaja, Elijah Udoh


Exploring an extended SVAR model (SVAR-X), we use the case of Nigeria to hypothesize for the role of uncertainty as the underlying source of asymmetries in the response of monetary policy to output and inflation. Deciphered the empirical finding is the potential of monetary policy exhibiting greater sensitive to shocks due to output growth than they do to shocks due to inflation in recession periods, while the reverse appears to be the case for a contractionary monetary policy. We also find the asymmetric preference in the response of monetary policy to changes in output and inflation as relatively more pronounced when we control for uncertainty as the underlying source of asymmetries.

Keywords: asymmetry response, developing economies, monetary policy shocks, uncertainty

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22 Tax Competition and Partial Tax Coordination under Fiscal Decentralization

Authors: Patricia Sanz-Cordoba, Bernd Theilen


This article analyzes the conditions where decentralization and partial tax harmonization in a coalition of asymmetric jurisdictions plays a role in the fight of fiscal competition (i.e. the race to bottom). Starting from a centralized economies, we use the ZM-W model to analyze the fiscal competition and coordination among three countries. We find that the asymmetry of jurisdictions facilitates partial tax harmonization between jurisdictions when these asymmetries are not too large. Furthermore, when the asymmetries are large enough, the level of labor tax plays an important role in the decision of decentralize capital tax. Accordingly, decentralization is achievable when labor tax is low. This result indicates that decentralization and partial tax harmonization between jurisdictions can be possible results in order to fight the negative externalities from fiscal competition, and more in the European Union countries where the asymmetries are substantial.

Keywords: centralization, decentralization, fiscal competition, partial tax harmonization

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21 Intertextuality in Tourism Advertising: Sources of Knowledge Asymmetries in Translating Vocative Texts

Authors: Maria Ilyushkina


The article addresses the problem of translating vocative texts with intertextual references and describes the influence of language on how knowledge and meaning are developed in the field of advertising. The starting point of the article takes advertisements from the sphere of tourism and the way we choose, translate, and interpret intertexts. The article focuses on the perception and understanding of the information in printed texts advertising recreational facilities and services for tourists as the target audience by representatives of other cultures and the knowledge intertexts convey. The authors argue that intertextuality complicates translation leading to knowledge asymmetries. Studying typical communicative failures is considered to be of great importance, allowing for improvement in the practice of translation in the sphere of advertising as well as preventing the fallacious transfer of knowledge when translating foreign intertexts.

Keywords: advertising, translation, intertext, Russian culture, knowledge asymmetries, tourism, vocative texts

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20 The Effects of Kicking Leg Preference on the Bilateral Balance Ability Asymmetries in Collegian Football Players

Authors: Mehmet Yildiz, Mehmet Kale


The primary aim of the present study was to identify the bilateral balance asymmetries when comparing the dominant (DL) vs. the non-dominant leg (NDL) in the collegian soccer players. The secondary aim was to compare the inter-limb asymmetry index (ASI) when differentiating by kicking preference (right-dominant vs. left-dominant). 34 right-dominant leg (RightDL) (age:21.12±1.85, height:174.50±5.18, weight:69.42±6.86) and 23 left-dominant leg (LeftDL), (age:21.70±2.03, height:176.2±6.27, weight:68.73±5.96) collegian football players were tested for bilateral static and dynamic balance. Balance ability was assessed by measuring centre of pressure deviation on a single leg. Single leg static and dynamic balance scores and inter-limb asymmetry index (ASI) were determined. Student t tests were used for the comparison of dominant and nondominant leg balance scores and RightDL and LeftDL football players’ inter-limb asymmetry index of the balance scores. The results showed that there were significant differences in the dynamic balance scores in favour of the nondominant leg, (DL:738±211 vs. NDL:606±226, p < 0.01). Also, it has been seen that LeftDL players have significantly higher inter-limb asymmetry index when compared with rightDL players for both static (rightDL:-7.07±94.91 vs. leftDL:-183.19±354.05, p < 0.01) and dynamic (rightDL: 1.73±49.65 vs. leftDL:27.08±23.34, p < 0.05) balance scores. In conclusion, bilateral dynamic balance asymmetries may be affected using single leg predominantly in the mobilization workouts. Because of having higher inter-limb asymmetry index, left-dominant leg players may be screened and trained to minimize balance asymmetry.

Keywords: bilateral balance, asymmetries, dominant leg, leg preference

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19 Comparative Study of the Distribution of Seismic Loads of Buildings with Asymmetries Plan

Authors: Ahmed Hamza Yache


The main purpose of this study is to estimate the distribution of shear forces in building structures with asymmetries in the plan submitted to seismic forces can cause, in this case, simultaneous deformations of translation and torsion. To this end, the distribution of shear forces is obtained by seismic forces calculated from the equivalent static method of the Algerian earthquake code RPA 99 (2003 version) and spectral modal analysis for an irregular building plan without kinks. Comparison of the results obtained by these two methods used to highlight the difference in terms of distributions of shear forces in such structures.

Keywords: structure, irregular, code, seismic, method, force, period

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18 Does Stock Markets Asymmetric Information Affect Foreign Capital Flows?

Authors: Farid Habibi Tanha, Mojtaba Jahanbazi, Morteza Foroutan, Rasidah Mohd Rashid


This paper depicts the effects of asymmetric information in determining capital inflows to be captured through stock market microstructure. The model can explain several stylized facts regarding the capital immobility. The first phase of the research involves in collecting and refining 150,000,000 daily data of 11 stock markets over a period of one decade in an effort to minimize the impact of survivorship bias. Three micro techniques were used to measure information asymmetries. The final phase analyzes the model through panel data approach. As a unique contribution, this research will provide valuable information regarding negative effects of information asymmetries in stock markets on attracting foreign investments. The results of this study can be directly considered by policy makers to monitor and control changes of capital flow in order to keep market conditions in a healthy manner, by preventing and managing possible shocks to avoid sudden reversals and market failures.

Keywords: asymmetric information, capital inflow, market microstructure, investment

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17 Asymmetric Price Transmission in Rice: A Regional Analysis in Peru

Authors: Renzo Munoz-Najar, Cristina Wong, Daniel De La Torre Ugarte


The literature on price transmission usually deals with asymmetries related to different commodities and/or the short and long term. The role of domestic regional differences and the relationship with asymmetries within a country are usually left out. This paper looks at the asymmetry in the transmission of rice prices from the international price to the farm gate prices in four northern regions of Peru for the last period 2001-2016. These regions are San Martín, Piura, Lambayeque and La Libertad. The relevance of the study lies in its ability to assess the need for policies aimed at improving the competitiveness of the market and ensuring the benefit of producers. There are differences in planting and harvesting dates, as well as in geographic location that justify the hypothesis of the existence of differences in the price transition asymmetries between these regions. Those differences are due to at least three factors geography, infrastructure development, and distribution systems. For this, the Threshold Vector Error Correction Model and the Autoregressive Vector Model with Threshold are used. Both models, collect asymmetric effects in the price adjustments. In this way, it is sought to verify that farm prices react more to falls than increases in international prices due to the high bargaining power of intermediaries. The results of the investigation suggest that the transmission of prices is significant only for Lambayeque and La Libertad. Likewise, the asymmetry in the transmission of prices for these regions is checked. However, these results are not met for San Martin and Piura, the main rice producers nationwide. A significant price transmission is verified only in the Lambayeque and La Libertad regions. San Martin and Piura, in spite of being the main rice producing regions of Peru, do not present a significant transmission of international prices; a high degree of self-sufficient supply might be at the center of the logic for this result. An additional finding is the short-term adjustment with respect to international prices, it is higher in La Libertad compared to Lambayeque, which could be explained by the greater bargaining power of intermediaries in the last-mentioned region due to the greater technological development in the mills.

Keywords: asymmetric price transmission, rice prices, price transmission, regional economics

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16 Direct CP Violation in Baryonic B-Hadron Decays

Authors: C. Q. Geng, Y. K. Hsiao


We study direct CP-violating asymmetries (CPAs) in the baryonic B decays of B- -> p\bar{p}M and Λb decays of Λb ®pM andΛb -> J/ΨpM with M=π-, K-,ρ-,K*- based on the generalized factorization method in the standard model (SM). In particular, we show that the CPAs in the vector modes of B-®p\bar{p}K* and Λb -> p K*- can be as large as 20%. We also discuss the simplest purely baryonic decays of Λb-> p\bar{p}n, p\bar{p}Λ, Λ\bar{p}Λ, and Λ\bar{Λ}Λ. We point out that some of CPAs are promising to be measured by the current as well as future B facilities.

Keywords: CP violation, B decays, baryonic decays, Λb decays

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15 Japanese and Europe Legal Frameworks on Data Protection and Cybersecurity: Asymmetries from a Comparative Perspective

Authors: S. Fantin


This study is the result of the legal research on cybersecurity and data protection within the EUNITY (Cybersecurity and Privacy Dialogue between Europe and Japan) project, aimed at fostering the dialogue between the European Union and Japan. Based on the research undertaken therein, the author offers an outline of the main asymmetries in the laws governing such fields in the two regions. The research is a comparative analysis of the two legal frameworks, taking into account specific provisions, ratio legis and policy initiatives. Recent doctrine was taken into account, too, as well as empirical interviews with EU and Japanese stakeholders and project partners. With respect to the protection of personal data, the European Union has recently reformed its legal framework with a package which includes a regulation (General Data Protection Regulation), and a directive (Directive 680 on personal data processing in the law enforcement domain). In turn, the Japanese law under scrutiny for this study has been the Act on Protection of Personal Information. Based on a comparative analysis, some asymmetries arise. The main ones refer to the definition of personal information and the scope of the two frameworks. Furthermore, the rights of the data subjects are differently articulated in the two regions, while the nature of sanctions take two opposite approaches. Regarding the cybersecurity framework, the situation looks similarly misaligned. Japan’s main text of reference is the Basic Cybersecurity Act, while the European Union has a more fragmented legal structure (to name a few, Network and Information Security Directive, Critical Infrastructure Directive and Directive on the Attacks at Information Systems). On an relevant note, unlike a more industry-oriented European approach, the concept of cyber hygiene seems to be neatly embedded in the Japanese legal framework, with a number of provisions that alleviate operators’ liability by turning such a burden into a set of recommendations to be primarily observed by citizens. With respect to the reasons to fill such normative gaps, these are mostly grounded on three basis. Firstly, the cross-border nature of cybercrime brings to consider both magnitude of the issue and its regulatory stance globally. Secondly, empirical findings from the EUNITY project showed how recent data breaches and cyber-attacks had shared implications between Europe and Japan. Thirdly, the geopolitical context is currently going through the direction of bringing the two regions to significant agreements from a trade standpoint, but also from a data protection perspective (with an imminent signature by both parts of a so-called ‘Adequacy Decision’). The research conducted in this study reveals two asymmetric legal frameworks on cyber security and data protection. With a view to the future challenges presented by the strengthening of the collaboration between the two regions and the trans-national fashion of cybercrime, it is urged that solutions are found to fill in such gaps, in order to allow European Union and Japan to wisely increment their partnership.

Keywords: cybersecurity, data protection, European Union, Japan

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14 Macroeconomic Determinants of Cyclical Variations in Value, Size, and Momentum Premium in the UK

Authors: G. Sarwar, C. Mateus, N. Todorovic


The paper examines the asymmetries in size, value and momentum premium over the economic cycles in the UK and their macroeconomic determinants. Using Markov switching approach we find clear evidence of cyclical variations of the three premiums, most noticeably variations in size premium. We associate Markov switching regime 1 with economic upturn and regime 2 with economic downturn as per OECD’s Composite Leading Indicator. The macroeconomic indicators prompting such cyclicality the most are interest rates, term structure and credit spread. The role of GDP growth, money supply and inflation is less pronounced in our sample.

Keywords: macroeconomic determinants, Markorv Switching, size, value

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13 Historical Memory and Social Representation of Violence in Latin American Cinema: A Cultural Criminology Approach

Authors: Maylen Villamanan Alba


Latin America is marked by its history: conquest, colonialism, and slavery left deep footprints in most Latin American countries. Also, the past century has been affected by wars, military dictatorships, and political violence, which profoundly influenced Latin American popular culture. Consequently, reminiscences of historical crimes are frequently present in daily life, media, public opinion, and arts. This legacy is remembered in novels, paintings, songs, and films. In fact, Latin American cinema has a trend which refers to the verisimilitude with reality in fiction films. These films about historical violence are narrated as fictional characters, but their stories are based on real historical contexts. Therefore, cultural criminology has considered films as a significant field to understand social representations of violence related to historical crimes. The aim of the present contribution is to analyze the legacy of past and historical memory in social representations of violence in Latin American cinema as a critical approach to historical crimes. This qualitative research is based on content analysis. The sample is seven multi-award winning films of the International Festival of New Latin American Cinema of Havana. The films selected are Kamchatka, Argentina (2002); Carandiru, Brazil (2003); Enlightened by fire, Argentina (2005); Post-mortem, Chile (2010); No, Chile (2012) Wakolda; Argentina (2013) and The Clan, Argentina (2015). Cultural criminology highlights that cinema shapes meanings of social practices such as historical crimes. Critical criminology offers a critical theory framework to interpret Latin American cinema. This analysis reveals historical conditions deeply associated with power relationships, policy, and inequality issues. As indicated by this theory, violence is characterized as a structural process based on social asymmetries. These social asymmetries are crossed by social scopes, including institutional and personal dimensions. Thus, institutions of the states are depicted through personal stories of characters involved with human conflicts. Intimacy and social background are linked in the personages who simultaneously perform roles such as soldiers, policemen, professionals or inmates and they are at the same time depict as human beings with family, gender, racial, ideological or generational issues. Social representations of violence related to past legacy are a portrait of historical crimes perpetrated against Latin American citizens. Thereby, they have contributed to political positions, social behaviors, and public opinion. The legacy of these historical crimes suggests a path that should never be taken again. It means past legacy is a reminder, a warning, and a historic lesson for Latin American people. Social representations of violence are permeated by historical memory as denunciation under a critical approach.

Keywords: Latin American cinema, historical memory, social representation, violence

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12 Informal Governance as Response to Institutional Paralysis

Authors: Stefanie Kasparek


The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is probably the most recognized international security organization. It is also profoundly misunderstood and undervalued in its effort to promote peace and security. With the rising involvement of non-state actors and the way states fight wars, international governance has become increasingly complex. However, the formal UNSC agenda has long remained static, reflecting states' unwillingness to entertain more conflicts. Nevertheless, resolutions remain the scholarly measure of states' interests and policies, neglecting the significant share of issues the Council entertains informally. This project builds on a rational institutionalism framework. It provides a systematic analysis of how and under what conditions states use informal governance instead of, or in combination with, formal rules at the agenda-setting stage of the policy process. Data for this project comes from elite interviews and a newly created dataset on governance choices. The results show that counter existing arguments, weaker states successfully circumvent formal institutional roadblocks and use informal governance mechanisms to pursue vital interests, thereby countering institutional restrictions and power asymmetries present informal governance settings.

Keywords: agenda-setting, decision-making, international governance, UNSC

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11 Regulating Information Asymmetries at Online Platforms for Short-Term Vacation Rental in European Union– Legal Conondrum Continues

Authors: Vesna Lukovic


Online platforms as new business models play an important role in today’s economy and the functioning of the EU’s internal market. In the travel industry, algorithms used by online platforms for short-stay accommodation provide suggestions and price information to travelers. Those suggestions and recommendations are displayed in search results via recommendation (ranking) systems. There has been a growing consensus that the current legal framework was not sufficient to resolve problems arising from platform practices. In order to enhance the potential of the EU’s Single Market, smaller businesses should be protected, and their rights strengthened vis-à-vis large online platforms. The Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services aims to level the playing field in that respect. This research looks at Airbnb through the lenses of this regulation. The research explores key determinants and finds that although regulation is an important step in the right direction, it is not enough. It does not entail sufficient clarity obligations that would make online platforms an intermediary service which both accommodation providers and travelers could use with ease.

Keywords: algorithm, online platforms, ranking, consumers, EU regulation

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10 Risk Propagation in Electricity Markets: Measuring the Asymmetric Transmission of Downside and Upside Risks in Energy Prices

Authors: Montserrat Guillen, Stephania Mosquera-Lopez, Jorge Uribe


An empirical study of market risk transmission between electricity prices in the Nord Pool interconnected market is done. Crucially, it is differentiated between risk propagation in the two tails of the price variation distribution. Thus, the downside risk from upside risk spillovers is distinguished. The results found document an asymmetric nature of risk and risk propagation in the two tails of the electricity price log variations. Risk spillovers following price increments in the market are transmitted to a larger extent than those after price reductions. Also, asymmetries related to both, the size of the transaction area and related to whether a given area behaves as a net-exporter or net-importer of electricity, are documented. For instance, on the one hand, the bigger the area of the transaction, the smaller the size of the volatility shocks that it receives. On the other hand, exporters of electricity, alongside countries with a significant dependence on renewable sources, tend to be net-transmitters of volatility to the rest of the system. Additionally, insights on the predictive power of positive and negative semivariances for future market volatility are provided. It is shown that depending on the forecasting horizon, downside and upside shocks to the market are featured by a distinctive persistence, and that upside volatility impacts more on net-importers of electricity, while the opposite holds for net-exporters.

Keywords: electricity prices, realized volatility, semivariances, volatility spillovers

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9 De/Reconstructing the Notion of Women as Perpetrators of Terrorism: The Case of Boko Haram

Authors: Damilohun D. Ayoyo, Anthony Mpiani, Temitope B. Oriola


The debate on women’s roles in insurgencies and terrorist organizations continues to garner scholarly attention. While some scholars view women insurgents and terrorists as perpetrators, others have argued that they are non-agents and victims. This paper de/reconstructs the notion of ‘women as perpetrators’ of terrorism. Drawing on the narratives of rescued female Boko Haram operatives, and Boko Haram’s tactics for recruiting and deploying women and girls, the paper advances three main arguments. First, the growing social construction of women as perpetrators of terrorism – particularly radical Islamic terrorism – downplays the socio-cultural and structural processes leading to women’s involvement with terrorist organizations. Second, women agency in Boko Haram activities is better understood when grounded in the cultural and structural contexts of Northern Nigeria, Boko Haram’s construction of ‘female,’ and the experiences of female Boko Haram operatives. Third, the mechanisms through which female Boko Haram operatives are recruited and deployed make them more of non-agents and victims than perpetrators of terrorism. The paper draws on the agency-structure approach and argues that the gendered power asymmetries embedded in the cultures and structures of Northern Nigeria –the base of Boko Haram– contribute to the nature and dynamics of women’s involvement in the insurgency. Although the paper does not negate the agency of women in terrorism, it aligns with the studies that consider women insurgents as more victims than perpetrators of terror.

Keywords: Boko Haram, female agency, Northern Nigeria, patriarchy, perpetrator of terror, radical Islamic terrorism, sharia, victim of terror, women insurgents

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8 Gender Roles in Modern Indian Marriages

Authors: Parul Bhandari


An image of a modern and progressive India garners the rhetoric of ‘choice’ marriages, gender egalitarian relationships, and search for ‘love’ in conjugal unions. Such an image especially resonates with the lives of young professionals, who, largely belonging to the middle class, consider themselves to be the global face India. While this rhetoric of ‘progress’ and ‘love’ is abounding in both Indian and non-Indian public discourses, it is imperative to scientifically analyse the veracity of these claims. This paper thus queries and problematises the notions of being modern and progressive, through the lens of gender roles as expected and desired in a process of matchmaking. The fieldwork conducted is based on qualitative methodology, involving in-depth interviews with 100 highly qualified professionals, (60 men and 40 women), between the age of 24-31, belonging to the Hindu religion and of varied castes and communities, who are residing in New Delhi, and are in the process of spouse-selection or have recently completed it. Further, an analysis of the structure and content of matrimonial websites, which have fast emerged as the new method of matchmaking, was also undertaken. The main finding of this paper is that gender asymmetries continue to determine a suitable match, whether in ‘arranged’ or ‘love’ marriages. This is demonstrated by analysing the expectations of gender roles and gender practices of both men and women, to construct an ideal of a ‘good match’. On the basis of the interviews and the content of matrimonial websites, the paper discusses the characteristics of a ‘suitable boy’ and a ‘suitable girl’, and the ways in which these are received (practiced or criticised) by the young men and women themselves. It is then concluded that though an ideal of ‘compatibility’ and love determines conjugal desires, traditional gender roles, that, for example, consider men as the primary breadwinner and women as responsible for the domestic sphere, continue to dictate urban Indian marriages.

Keywords: gender, India, marriage, middle class

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7 Validity of a Timing System in the Alpine Ski Field: A Magnet-Based Timing System Using the Magnetometer Built into an IMU

Authors: Carla Pérez-Chirinos Buxadé, Bruno Fernández-Valdés, Mónica Morral-Yepes, Sílvia Tuyà Viñas, Josep Maria Padullés Riu, Gerard Moras Feliu


There is a long way to explore all the possible applications inertial measurement units (IMUs) have in the sport field. The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of a new application on the use of these wearable sensors. Specifically, it was to evaluate a magnet-based timing system (M-BTS) for timing gate-to-gate in an alpine ski slalom using the magnetometer embedded in an IMU. This was a validation study. The criterion validity of time measured by the M-BTS was assessed using the 95% error-range against actual time obtained from photocells. The experiment was carried out with first-and second-year junior skiers performing a ski slalom on a ski training slope. Eight alpine skiers (17.4 ± 0.8 years, 176.4 ± 4.9 cm, 67.7 ± 2.0 kg, 128.8 ± 26.6 slalom FIS-Points) participated in the study. An IMU device was attached to the skier’s lower back. Skiers performed a 40-gate slalom from which four gates were assessed. The M-BTS consisted of placing four bar magnets buried into the snow surface, on the inner side of each gate’s turning pole; the magnetometer built into the IMU detected the peak-shaped magnetic field when passing near the magnets at a certain speed. Four magnetic peaks were detected. The time compressed between peaks was calculated. Three inter-gate times were obtained for each system: photocells and M-BTS. The total time was defined as the time sum of the inter-gate times. The 95% error intervals for the total time was 0.050 s for the ski slalom. The M-BTS is valid for timing gate-to-gate in an alpine ski slalom. Inter-gate times can provide additional data for analyzing skier’s performance, such as asymmetries between left and right foot.

Keywords: gate crossing time, inertial measurement unit, timing system, wearable sensor

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6 The Axonal Connectivity of Motor and Premotor Areas as Revealed through Fiber Dissections: Shedding Light on the Structural Correlates of Complex Motor Behavior

Authors: Spyridon Komaitis, Christos Koutsarnakis, Evangelos Drosos, Aristotelis Kalyvas


This study opts to investigate the intrinsic architecture, morphology, and spatial relationship of the subcortical pathways implicated in the connectivity of the motor/premotor cortex and SMA/pre-SMA complex. Twenty normal, adult, formalin-fixed cerebral hemispheres were explored through the fiber micro-dissection technique. Lateral to medial and medial to lateral dissections focused on the area of interest were performed in a tandem manner and under the surgical microscope. We traced the subcortical architecture, spatial relationships, and axonal connectivity of four major pathways: a) the dorsal component of the SLF (SLF-I) was found to reside in the medial aspect of the hemisphere and seen to connect the precuneus with the SMA and pre-SMA complex, b) the frontal longitudinal system (FLS) was consistently encountered as the natural anterior continuation of the SLF-II and SLF-III and connected the premotor and prefrontal cortices c) the fronto-caudate tract (FCT), a fan-shaped tract, was documented to participate in connectivity of the prefrontal and premotor cortices to the head and body of the caudate nucleus and d) the cortico-tegmental tract(CTT) was invariably recorded to subserve the connectivity of the tegmental area with the fronto-parietal cortex. No hemispheric asymmetries were recorded for any of the implicated pathways. Sub-segmentation systems were also proposed for each of the aforementioned tracts. The structural connectivity and functional specialization of motor and premotor areas in the human brain remain vague to this day as most of the available evidence derives either from animal or tractographic studies. By using the fiber-microdissection technique as our main method of investigation, we provide sound structural evidence on the delicate anatomy of the related white matter pathways.

Keywords: neuroanatomy, premotor, motor, connectivity

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5 Assessing the Social Impacts of Regional Services: The Case of a Portuguese Municipality

Authors: A. Camões, M. Ferreira Dias, M. Amorim


In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.

Keywords: measurement, municipalities, social economy, social impact

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4 Relationship Financing: A Process of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Authors: Y. Fandja, O. Colot, M. Croquet


Small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) face difficulties in accessing bank credit. Bank credit is actually the main source of external financing for SMEs. In general, SMEs are risky businesses because of the potential opacity maintained by the leader in the management of affairs, the agency conflicts between business owners and third-party funders and the potential opportunism of the leader due to the incompleteness of the contracts. These elements accentuate the problems of information asymmetries between SMEs and bankers leading to capital rationing. Moreover, the last economic crisis reinforced this rationing of capital. However, a long-term relationship between SMEs and their bank would enable the latter to accumulate a set of relevant information allowing the reduction of information asymmetry and, consequently, the reduction of credit rationing. The objective of this research is to investigate the lived experience of SMEs loan officers in their relationships with their clients in order to understand how these relationships can affect the financing structure of these SMEs. To carry out this research, an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis is implemented. This approach is part of the constructivist paradigm and refers to the subjective narratives of the individual rather than to an objective description of the facts. The role of the researcher is to explore the lived experience of the interviewees and to try to understand the meaning they give to this experience. Currently, several sixty-minute semi-structured interviews with loan officers for SMEs have been conducted. The analysis of the content of these interviews brought out three main themes. First, the relationship between the credit officer and the company manager is complex because the credit officer is not aware of establishing a personal relationship with his client. Second; the emotional involvement in the bank financing decision is present and third, the trust in the relationship between the credit officer and his client is very important. The originality of this research is to use the interpretative phenomenological analysis more specific to psychology and sociology in order to approach in a different way the problem of the financing of SMEs through their particular relations with the bankers.

Keywords: financing structure, interpretative phenomenological analysis, relationship financing, SME

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3 The Decision-Making Process of the Central Banks of Brazil and India in Regional Integration: A Comparative Analysis of MERCOSUR and SAARC (2003-2014)

Authors: Andre Sanches Siqueira Campos


Central banks can play a significant role in promoting regional economic and monetary integration by strengthening the payment and settlement systems. However, close coordination and cooperation require facilitating the implementation of reforms at domestic and cross-border levels in order to benchmark with international standards and commitments to the liberal order. This situation reflects the normative power of the regulatory globalization dimension of strong states, which may drive or constrain regional integration. In the MERCOSUR and SAARC regions, central banks have set financial initiatives that could facilitate South America and South Asia regions to move towards convergence integration and facilitate trade and investments connectivities. This is qualitative method research based on a combination of the Process-Tracing method with Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). This research approaches multiple forms of data based on central banks, regional organisations, national governments, and financial institutions supported by existing literature. The aim of this research is to analyze the decision-making process of the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) towards regional financial cooperation by identifying connectivity instruments that foster, gridlock, or redefine cooperation. The BCB and The RBI manage the monetary policy of the largest economies of those regions, which makes regional cooperation a relevant framework to understand how they provide an effective institutional arrangement for regional organisations to achieve some of their key policies and economic objectives. The preliminary conclusion is that both BCB and RBI demonstrate a reluctance to deepen regional cooperation because of the existing economic, political, and institutional asymmetries. Deepening regional cooperation is constrained by the interests of central banks in protecting their economies from risks of instability due to different degrees of development between countries in their regions and international financial crises that have impacted the international system in the 21st century. Reluctant regional integration also provides autonomy for national development and political ground for the contestation of Global Financial Governance by Brazil and India.

Keywords: Brazil, central banks, decision-making process, global financial governance, India, MERCOSUR, connectivity, payment system, regional cooperation, SAARC

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2 Design of a Low-Cost, Portable, Sensor Device for Longitudinal, At-Home Analysis of Gait and Balance

Authors: Claudia Norambuena, Myissa Weiss, Maria Ruiz Maya, Matthew Straley, Elijah Hammond, Benjamin Chesebrough, David Grow


The purpose of this project is to develop a low-cost, portable sensor device that can be used at home for long-term analysis of gait and balance abnormalities. One area of particular concern involves the asymmetries in movement and balance that can accompany certain types of injuries and/or the associated devices used in the repair and rehabilitation process (e.g. the use of splints and casts) which can often increase chances of falls and additional injuries. This device has the capacity to monitor a patient during the rehabilitation process after injury or operation, increasing the patient’s access to healthcare while decreasing the number of visits to the patient’s clinician. The sensor device may thereby improve the quality of the patient’s care, particularly in rural areas where access to the clinician could be limited, while simultaneously decreasing the overall cost associated with the patient’s care. The device consists of nine interconnected accelerometer/ gyroscope/compass chips (9-DOF IMU, Adafruit, New York, NY). The sensors attach to and are used to determine the orientation and acceleration of the patient’s lower abdomen, C7 vertebra (lower neck), L1 vertebra (middle back), anterior side of each thigh and tibia, and dorsal side of each foot. In addition, pressure sensors are embedded in shoe inserts with one sensor (ESS301, Tekscan, Boston, MA) beneath the heel and three sensors (Interlink 402, Interlink Electronics, Westlake Village, CA) beneath the metatarsal bones of each foot. These sensors measure the distribution of the weight applied to each foot as well as stride duration. A small microntroller (Arduino Mega, Arduino, Ivrea, Italy) is used to collect data from these sensors in a CSV file. MATLAB is then used to analyze the data and output the hip, knee, ankle, and trunk angles projected on the sagittal plane. An open-source program Processing is then used to generate an animation of the patient’s gait. The accuracy of the sensors was validated through comparison to goniometric measurements (±2° error). The sensor device was also shown to have sufficient sensitivity to observe various gait abnormalities. Several patients used the sensor device, and the data collected from each represented the patient’s movements. Further, the sensors were found to have the ability to observe gait abnormalities caused by the addition of a small amount of weight (4.5 - 9.1 kg) to one side of the patient. The user-friendly interface and portability of the sensor device will help to construct a bridge between patients and their clinicians with fewer necessary inpatient visits.

Keywords: biomedical sensing, gait analysis, outpatient, rehabilitation

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1 Contemporary Paradoxical Expectations of the Nursing Profession and Revisiting the ‘Nurses’ Disciplinary Boundaries: India’s Historical and Gendered Perspective

Authors: Neha Adsul, Rohit Shah


Background: The global history of nursing is exclusively a history of deep contradictions as it seeks to negotiate inclusion in an already gendered world. Although a powerful 'clinical gaze exists, nurses have toiled to re-negotiate and subvert the 'medical gaze' by practicing the 'therapeutic gaze' to tether back 'care into nursing practice.' This helps address the duality of the 'body' and 'mind' wherein the patient is not just limited to being an object of medical inquiry. Nevertheless, there has been a consistent effort to fit 'nursing' into being an art or an emerging science over the years. Especially with advances in hospital-based techno-centric medical practices, the boundaries between technology and nursing practices are becoming more blurred as the technical process becomes synonymous with nursing, eroding the essence of nursing care. Aim: This paper examines the history of nursing and offers insights into how gendered relations and the ideological belief of 'nursing as gendered work' have propagated to the subjugation of the nursing profession. It further aims to provide insights into the patriarchally imbibed techno-centrism that negates the gendered caregiving which lies at the crux of a nurse's work. Method: A literature search was carried out using Google Scholar, Web of Science and PubMed databases. Search words included: technology and nursing, medical technology and nursing, history of nursing, sociology and nursing and nursing care. The history of nursing is presented in a discussion that weaves together the historical events of the 'Birth of the Clinic' and the shift from 'bed-side medicine' to 'hospital-based medicine' that legitimizes exploitation of the bodies of patients to the 'medical gaze while the emergence of nursing as acquiescent to instrumental, technical, positivist and dominant views of medicine. The resultant power asymmetries, wherein in contemporary nursing, the constant struggle of nurses to juggle between being the physicians "operational right arm" to harboring that subjective understanding of the patients to refrain from de-humanizing nursing-care. Findings: The nursing profession suffers from being rendered invisible due to gendered relations having patrifocal societal roots. This perpetuates a notion rooted in the idea that emphasizes empiricism and has resulted in theoretical and epistemological fragmentation of the understanding of body and mind as separate entities. Nurses operate within this structure while constantly being at the brink of being pushed beyond the legitimate professional boundaries while being labeled as being 'unscientific' as the work does not always corroborate and align with the existing dominant positivist lines of inquiries. Conclusion: When understood in this broader context of how nursing as a practice has evolved over the years, it provides a particularly crucial testbed for understanding contemporary gender relations. Not because nurses like to live in a gendered work trap but because the gendered relations at work are written in a covert narcissistic patriarchal milieu that fails to recognize the value of intangible yet utmost necessary 'caring work in nursing. This research urges and calls for preserving and revering the humane aspect of nursing care alongside the emerging tech-savvy expectations from nursing work.

Keywords: nursing history, technocentric, power relations, scientific duality

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