Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 28

Search results for: deregulation

28 Efficient Bargaining versus Right to Manage in the Era of Liberalization

Authors: Panagiota Koliousi, Natasha Miaouli

Abstract:

We compare product and labour market liberalization under the two trade union bargaining models: the Right-to-Manage (RTM) model and the Efficient Bargaining (EB) model. The vehicle is a dynamic general equilibrium (DGE) model that incorporates two types of agents (capitalists and workers), imperfectly competitive product and labour markets. The model is solved numerically employing common parameter values and data from the euro area. A key message is that product market deregulation is favourable under any labour market structure while opting for labour market deregulation one should provide special attention to the structure of the labour market such as the bargaining system of unions. If the prevailing way of bargaining is the RTM model then restructuring both markets is beneficial for all agents.

Keywords: market structure, structural reforms, trade unions, unemployment

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27 Deregulation of Turkish State Railways Based on Public-Private Partnership Approaches

Authors: S. Shakibaei, P. Alpkokin

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The railway network is one of the major components of a transportation system in a country which may be an indicator of the country’s level of economic improvement. Since 2000s on, revival of national railways and development of High Speed Rail (HSR) lines are one of the most remarkable policies of Turkish government in railway sector. Within this trend, the railway age is to be revived and coming decades will be a golden opportunity. Indubitably, major infrastructures such as road and railway networks require sizeable investment capital, precise maintenance and reparation. Traditionally, governments are held responsible for funding, operating and maintaining these infrastructures. However, lack or shortage of financial resources, risk responsibilities (particularly cost and time overrun), and in some cases inefficacy in constructional, operational and management phases persuade governments to find alternative options. Financial power, efficient experiences and background of private sector are the factors convincing the governments to make a collaboration with private parties to develop infrastructures. Public-Private Partnerships (PPP or 3P or P3) and related regulatory issues are born considering these collaborations. In Turkey, PPP approaches have attracted attention particularly during last decade and these types of investments have been accelerated by government to overcome budget limitations and cope with inefficacy of public sector in improving transportation network and its operation. This study mainly tends to present a comprehensive overview of PPP concept, evaluate the regulatory procedure in Europe and propose a general framework for Turkish State Railways (TCDD) as an outlook on privatization, liberalization and deregulation of railway network.

Keywords: deregulation, high-speed railway, liberalization, privatization, public-private partnership

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26 A Critique of the Neo-Liberal Model of Economic Governance and Its Application to the Electricity Market Industry: Some Lessons and Learning Points from Nigeria

Authors: Kabiru Adamu

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The Nigerian electricity industry was deregulated and privatized in 2005 and 2014 in line with global trend and practice. International and multilateral lending institutions advised developing countries, Nigeria inclusive, to adopt deregulation and privatization as part of reforms in their electricity sectors. The ideological basis of these reforms are traceable to neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is an ideology that believes in the supremacy of free market and strong non-interventionist competition law as against government ownership of the electricity market. This ideology became a state practice and a blue print for the deregulation and privatization of the electricity markets in many parts of the world. The blue print was used as a template for the privatization of the Nigerian electricity industry. In this wise, this paper, using documentary analysis and review of academic literatures, examines neoliberalism as an ideology and model of economic governance for the electricity supply industry in Nigeria. The paper examines the origin of the ideology, it features and principles and how it was used as the blue print in designing policies for electricity reforms in both developed and developing countries. The paper found out that there is gap between the ideology in theory and in practice because although the theory is rational in thinking it is difficult to be implemented in practice. The paper argues that the ideology has a mismatched effect and this has made its application in the electricity industry in many developing countries problematic and unsuccessful. In the case of Nigeria, the article argues that the template is also not working. The article concludes that the electricity sectors in Nigeria have failed to develop into competitive market for the benefit of consumers in line with the assumptions and promises of the ideology. The paper therefore recommends the democratization of the electricity sectors in Nigeria through a new system of public ownership as the solution to the failure of the neoliberal policies; but this requires the design of a more democratic and participatory system of ownership with communities and state governments in charge of the administration, running and operation of the sector.

Keywords: electricity, energy governance, neo-liberalism, regulation

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25 Expression of miRNA 335 in Gall Bladder Cancer: A Correlative Study

Authors: Naseem Fatima, A. N. Srivastava, Tasleem Raza, Vijay Kumar

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Introduction: Carcinoma gallbladder is third most common gastrointestinal lethal disease with the highest incidence and mortality rate among women in Northern India. Scientists have found several risk factors that make a person more likely to develop gallbladder cancer; among these risk factors, deregulation of miRNAs has been demonstrated to be one of the most crucial factors. The changes in the expression of specific miRNA genes result in the control of inflammation, cell cycle regulation, stress response, proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and invasion thus mediate the process in tumorgenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of MiRNA-335 and may as a molecular marker in early detection of gallbladder cancer in suspected cases. Material and Methods: A total of 20 consecutive patients with gallbladder cancer aged between 30-75 years were registered for the study. Total RNA was extracted from tissue by using the mirVANA MiRNA isolation Kit according to the manufacturer’s protocol. The MiRNA- 335 and U6 snRNA-specific cDNA were reverse-transcribed from total RNA using Taqman microRNA reverse-transcription kit according to the manufacturer’s protocol. TaqMan MiRNA probes hsa-miR-335 and Taqman Master Mix without AmpEase UNG, Individual real-time PCR assays were performed in a 20 μL reaction volume on a Real-Time PCR system (Applied Biosystems StepOnePlus™) to detect MiRNA-335 expression in tissue. Relative quantification of target MiRNA expression was evaluated using the comparative cycle threshold (CT) method. The correlation was done in between cycle threshold (CT Value) of target MiRNA in gallbladder cancer with respect to non-cancerous Cholelithiasis gallbladder. Each sample was examined in triplicate. The Newman-Keuls Multiple Comparison Test was used to determine the expression of miR-335. Results: MiRNA335 was found to be significantly downregulated in the gallbladder cancer tissue (P<0.001), when compared with non-cancerous Cholelithiasis gallbladder cases. Out of 20 cases, 75% showed reduced expression of MiRNA335, were at last stage of disease with low overall survival rate and remaining 25% were showed up-regulated expression of MiRNA335 with high survival rate. Conclusion: The present study showed that reduced expression of MiRNA335 is associated with the advancement of the disease, and its deregulation may provide important clues to understanding it as a prognostic marker and opportunities for future research.

Keywords: carcinoma gallbladder, downregulation, MiRNA-335, RT-PCR assay

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24 A Succinct Method for Allocation of Reactive Power Loss in Deregulated Scenario

Authors: J. S. Savier

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Real power is the component power which is converted into useful energy whereas reactive power is the component of power which cannot be converted to useful energy but it is required for the magnetization of various electrical machineries. If the reactive power is compensated at the consumer end, the need for reactive power flow from generators to the load can be avoided and hence the overall power loss can be reduced. In this scenario, this paper presents a succinct method called JSS method for allocation of reactive power losses to consumers connected to radial distribution networks in a deregulated environment. The proposed method has the advantage that no assumptions are made while deriving the reactive power loss allocation method.

Keywords: deregulation, reactive power loss allocation, radial distribution systems, succinct method

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23 Transmission Network Expansion Planning in Deregulated Power Systems to Facilitate Competition under Uncertainties

Authors: Hooshang Mohammad Alikhani, Javad Nikoukar

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Restructuring and deregulation of power industry have changed the objectives of transmission expansion planning and increased the uncertainties. Due to these changes, new approaches and criteria are needed for transmission planning in deregulated power systems. The objective of this research work is to present a new approach for transmission expansion planning with considering new objectives and uncertainties in deregulated power systems. The approach must take into account the desires of all stakeholders in transmission expansion planning. Market based criteria must be defined to achieve the new objectives. Combination of market based criteria, technical criteria and economical criteria must be used for measuring the goodness of expansion plans to achieve market requirements, technical requirements, and economical requirements altogether.

Keywords: deregulated power systems, transmission network, stakeholder, energy systems

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22 Determination of Frequency Relay Setting during Distributed Generators Islanding

Authors: Tarek Kandil, Ameen Ali

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Distributed generation (DG) has recently gained a lot of momentum in power industry due to market deregulation and environmental concerns. One of the most technical challenges facing DGs is islanding of distributed generators. The current industry practice is to disconnect all distributed generators immediately after the occurrence of islands within 200 to 350 ms after loss of main supply. To achieve such goal, each DG must be equipped with an islanding detection device. Frequency relays are one of the most commonly used loss of mains detection method. However, distribution utilities may be faced with concerns related to false operation of these frequency relays due to improper settings. The commercially available frequency relays are considering standard tight setting. This paper investigates some factors related to relays internal algorithm that contribute to their different operating responses. Further, the relay operation in the presence of multiple distributed at the same network is analyzed. Finally, the relay setting can be accurately determined based on these investigation and analysis.

Keywords: frequency relay, distributed generation, islanding detection, relay setting

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21 Loss Allocation in Radial Distribution Networks for Loads of Composite Types

Authors: Sumit Banerjee, Chandan Kumar Chanda

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The paper presents allocation of active power losses and energy losses to consumers connected to radial distribution networks in a deregulated environment for loads of composite types. A detailed comparison among four algorithms, namely quadratic loss allocation, proportional loss allocation, pro rata loss allocation and exact loss allocation methods are presented. Quadratic and proportional loss allocations are based on identifying the active and reactive components of current in each branch and the losses are allocated to each consumer, pro rata loss allocation method is based on the load demand of each consumer and exact loss allocation method is based on the actual contribution of active power loss by each consumer. The effectiveness of the proposed comparison among four algorithms for composite load is demonstrated through an example.

Keywords: composite type, deregulation, loss allocation, radial distribution networks

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20 Causes of Financial Instability and Banking Crises: A Comparative Study of Analytical Approaches

Authors: Laura Josabeth Oros-Avilés, Josefina León-León

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In recent decades, the concern of the monetary authorities has increased because of the instability of the financial sector caused by the crash of speculative bubbles. In fact, the crash of "housing bubble" in U.S. (2007-2008) led the latest global crisis. The aim of paper is to analyze the features and causes of the financial and banking crisis from an historical view. In particular, in this research, a comparative study of some analytical approaches about economic and financial history is discussed. In addition, the role of monetary policy of central banks in managing financial crises, from its origins to today, is analyzed. According to the studied approaches, two types of factors that cause the financial instability were identified: subjective and objectives. In the research, these factors are deeply discussed, in order to noting the agreements and disagreement between the authors. Specially, it is worth noting that all of them recognized that the credit boom and the financial deregulation are the main causes of financial crises.

Keywords: asset prices, banking crises, financial bubble, financial instability, monetary policy

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19 The Conflict between Empowerment and Exploitation: The Hypersexualization of Women in the Media

Authors: Seung Won Park

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Pornographic images are becoming increasingly normalized as innovations in media technology arise, the porn industry explosively grows, and transnational capitalism spreads due to government deregulation and privatization of media. As the media evolves, pornography has become more and more violent and non-consensual; this growth of ‘raunch culture’ reifies the traditional power balance between men and women in which men are dominant, and women are submissive. This male domination objectifies and commodifies women, reducing them to merely sexual objects for the gratification of men. Women are exposed to pornographic images at younger and younger ages, providing unhealthy sexual role models and teaching them lessons on sexual behavior before the onset of puberty. The increasingly sexualized depiction of women in particular positions them as appropriately desirable and available to men. As a result, women are not only viewed as sexual prey but also end up treating themselves primarily as sexual objects, basing their worth off of their sexuality alone. Although many scholars are aware of and have written on the great lack of agency exercised by women in these representations, the general public tends to view some of these women as being empowered, rather than exploited. Scholarly discourse is constrained by the popular misconception that the construction of women’s sexuality in the media is controlled by women themselves.

Keywords: construction of gender, hypersexualization, media, objectification

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18 Available Transmission Transfer Efficiency (ATTE) as an Index Measurement for Power Transmission Grid Performance

Authors: Ahmad Abubakar Sadiq, Nwohu Ndubuka Mark, Jacob Tsado, Ahmad Adam Asharaf, Agbachi E. Okenna, Enesi E. Yahaya, Ambafi James Garba

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Transmission system performance analysis is vital to proper planning and operations of power systems in the presence of deregulation. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are often used as measure of degree of performance. This paper gives a novel method to determine the transmission efficiency by evaluating the ratio of real power losses incurred from a specified transfer direction. Available Transmission Transfer Efficiency (ATTE) expresses the percentage of real power received resulting from inter-area available power transfer. The Tie line (Rated system path) performance is seen to differ from system wide (Network response) performance and ATTE values obtained are transfer direction specific. The required sending end quantities with specified receiving end ATC and the receiving end power circle diagram are obtained for the tie line analysis. The amount of real power loss load relative to the available transfer capability gives a measure of the transmission grid efficiency.

Keywords: performance, transmission system, real power efficiency, available transfer capability

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17 Bcl-2: A Molecule to Detect Oral Cancer and Precancer

Authors: Vandana Singh, Subash Singh

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Introduction: Oral squamous cell carcinoma is the most common malignant tumor of the oral cavity. Normally the death of cell and the growth are active processes and depend not only on external factors but also on the expression of genes like Bcl-2, which activate and inhibit apoptosis. The term Bcl-2 is an acronym for B-cell lymphoma/ leukemia -2 genes. Objectives: An attempt was made to evaluate Bcl-2 oncoprotein expression in patients with oral precancer and cancer and to assess possible correlation between Bcl-2 oncoprotein expression and clinicopathological features of oral precancer and cancer. Material and Methods: This is a selective prospective clinical and immunohistochemical study. Clinicopathological examination is correlated with immunohistochemical findings. The immunolocalization of Bcl-2 protein is performed using the labeled streptavidin biotin (LSAB) method. To visualize the reaction, 3, 3-diaminobenzidine (DAB) is used. Results: Bcl-2 expression was positive in 11 [36.66 %, low Bcl-2 expression 3 (10.00 %), moderate Bcl-2 expression 7 (23.33 %), and high Bcl-2 expression 1 (3.33 %)] oral cancer cases and in 14 [87.50 %, low expression 8 (50 %), moderate expression 6 (37.50 %)] precancer cases. Conclusion: On the basis of the results of our study we conclude that positive Bcl-2 expression may be an indicator of poor prognosis in oral cancer and precancer. Relevance: It has been reported that there is deregulation of Bcl-2 expression during progression from oral epithelial dysplasia to squamous cell carcinoma. It can be used for revealing progression of epithelial dysplasia to malignancy and as a prognostic marker in oral precancer and cancer.

Keywords: BcL-2, immunohistochemistry, oral cancer, oral precancer

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16 Effects of Cell Phone Electromagnetic Radiation on the Brain System

Authors: A. Alao Olumuyiwa

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Health hazards reported to be associated with exposure to electromagnetic radiations which include brain tumors, genotoxic effects, neurological effects, immune system deregulation, allergic responses and some cardiovascular effects are discussed under a closed tabular model in this study. This review however showed that there is strong and robust evidence that chronic exposures to electromagnetic frequency across the spectrum, through strength, consistency, biological plausibility and many dose-response relationships, may result in brain cancer and other carcinogenic disease symptoms. There is therefore no safe threshold because of the genotoxic nature of the mechanism that may however be involved. The discussed study explains that the cell phone has induced effects upon the blood –brain barrier permeability and the cerebellum exposure to continuous long hours RF radiation may result in significant increase in albumin extravasations. A physical Biomodeling approach is however employed to review this health effects using Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of different GSM machines to critically examine the symptoms such as a decreased loco motor activity, increased grooming and reduced memory functions in a variety of animal spices in classified grouped and sub grouped models.

Keywords: brain cancer, electromagnetic radiations, physical biomodeling, specific absorption rate (SAR)

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15 Regulation, Supervision and Accounting Conservatism: Interaction of the Three Pillars of Basel II to Achieve Quality of Reporting Earnings in Worldwide Banks

Authors: I. Diaz Sanchez, I. M. Martinez-Conesa, M. Illueca

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Accounting conservatism is a desirable quality of earnings that is positively associated with the stridency of regulatory and supervisory regimen and high market discipline. But how these three pillars interact each other is the main research question that is not empirically solved. We analyze how regulatory and supervisory regimes interact with the market discipline measures, such as listing status, ownership and market concentration using a sample of 14,651 bank-year observations covering 54 countries over the period 1997-2009. We evidence that regulation a supervision and extend on which they are enforcement is a strong mechanism to achieved accounting conservatism in those countries or situations where the market discipline fails. Generally, the supervisory power reinforces the effect of listing status, ownership and concentration on conservatism, while capital regulatory mitigates the effect of market discipline on conservatism. This paper may contribute to debate about the mechanism introduced by Basel III that strongly increases the regulation, his enforcement, and the supervisory power after long deregulation period. Although Market discipline is relevant to achieve the financial stability, strong Pillar I and II can ensure the quality of the accounting earnings to prevent bank failures.

Keywords: accounting conservatism, bank regulation, bank supervision, loan loss recognition, market discipline

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14 Marketing and Customer Relationship in Post Consolidation Banking Sector of Nigeria

Authors: Nnedum Obiajuru Anthony Ugochukwu, Ezechukwu Emmanuel Ntomchukwu

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The research investigated the importance of marketing and customer relationship management in post-consolidated banks in achieving success and survival in the face of intense competition and global economic meltdown. The problem lies in the fact that during the pre-consolidation era in the banking industry in Nigeria, banks were comfortable transacting their businesses from their armchairs. Little attention was paid to marketing by banks as a veritable means of achieving and consolidating their profit position. This situation, no doubt sustained because banks were more or less currency exchange centers where customers buy and sell foreign exchange which was highly demanded, but in very short supply. Today, deregulation and consolidation of banks in Nigeria have tremendously increased the tempo of activities in the banking industry, and competition has become very severe among banks. The weak link in the success of post-consolidated banks in Nigeria is the utter neglect, and light or unserious consideration of customer relationship marketing by banks. Armchair banking which banks have been practicing has no regard for marketing as a means to survival. However, in order to survive, post-consolidated banks must take relationship marketing and customer relationship management seriously especially in the face of the current global economic crisis. This paper aims at exploring the role of marketing in building and managing customer relationships as a means to survival in post-consolidation banking in Nigeria.

Keywords: marketing, customer relationships, banking sector, Nigeria

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13 Financial Liberalization and Allocation of Bank Credit in Malaysia

Authors: Chow Fah Yee, Eu Chye Tan

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The main purpose of developing a modern and sophisticated financial system is to mobilize and allocate the country’s resources for productive uses and in the process contribute to economic growth. Financial liberalization introduced in Malaysia in 1978 was said to be a step towards this goal. According to Mc-Kinnon and Shaw, the deregulation of a country’s financial system will create a more efficient and competitive market driven financial sector; with savings being channelled to the most productive users. This paper aims to assess whether financial liberalization resulted in bank credit being allocated to the more productive users, for the case of Malaysia by: firstly, using Chi-square test to if there exists a relationship between financial liberalization and bank lending in Malaysia. Secondly, to analyze on a comparative basis, the share of loans secured by 9 major economic sectors, using data on bank loans from 1975 to 2003. Lastly, present value analysis and rank correlation was used to determine if the recipients of bigger loans are the more efficient users. Chi-square test confirmed the generally observed trend of an increase in bank credit with the adoption of financial liberalization. While the comparative analysis of loans showed that the bulk of credit were allocated to service sectors, consumer loans and property related sectors, at the expense of industry. Results for rank correlation analysis showed that there is no relationship between the more productive users and amount of loans obtained. This implies that the recipients (sectors) that received more loans were not the more efficient sectors.

Keywords: allocation of resources, bank credit, financial liberalization, economics

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12 Study on Developmental and Pathogenesis Related Genes Expression Deregulation in Brassica compestris Infected with 16Sr-IX Associated Phytoplasma

Authors: Samina Jam Nazeer Ahmad, Samia Yasin, Ijaz Ahmad, Muhammad Tahir, Jam Nazeer Ahmad

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Phytoplasmas are phloem-inhibited plant pathogenic bacteria that are transferred by insect vectors. Among biotic factors, Phytoplasma infection induces abnormality influencing the physiology as well as morphology of plants. In 16Sr-IX group phytoplasma-infected brassica compestris, flower abnormalities have been associated with changes in the expression of floral development genes. To determine whether methylation was involved in down-regulation of flower development, the process of DNA methylation and Demethylation was investigated as a possible mechanism for regulation of floral gene expression in phytoplasma infected Brassica transmitted by Orosious orientalis vector by using RT-PCR, MSRE-PCR, Southern blotting, Bisulfite Sequencing, etc. Transcriptional expression of methylated genes was found to be globally down-regulated in plants infected with phytoplasma, but not severely in those infested by insect vectors and variation in expression was found in genes involved in methylation. These results also showed that genes particularly orthologous to Arabidopsis APETALA3 involved in petal formation and flower development was down-regulated severely in phytoplasma-infected brassica and with the fact that phytoplasma and insect induce variation in developmental gene expression. The DNA methylation status of flower developmental gene in phytoplasma infected plants with 5-azacytidine restored gene expression strongly suggesting that DNA methylation was involved in down-regulation of floral development genes in phytoplasma infected brassica.

Keywords: genes expression, phytoplasma, DNA methylation, flower development

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11 Electricity Load Modeling: An Application to Italian Market

Authors: Giovanni Masala, Stefania Marica

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Forecasting electricity load plays a crucial role regards decision making and planning for economical purposes. Besides, in the light of the recent privatization and deregulation of the power industry, the forecasting of future electricity load turned out to be a very challenging problem. Empirical data about electricity load highlights a clear seasonal behavior (higher load during the winter season), which is partly due to climatic effects. We also emphasize the presence of load periodicity at a weekly basis (electricity load is usually lower on weekends or holidays) and at daily basis (electricity load is clearly influenced by the hour). Finally, a long-term trend may depend on the general economic situation (for example, industrial production affects electricity load). All these features must be captured by the model. The purpose of this paper is then to build an hourly electricity load model. The deterministic component of the model requires non-linear regression and Fourier series while we will investigate the stochastic component through econometrical tools. The calibration of the parameters’ model will be performed by using data coming from the Italian market in a 6 year period (2007- 2012). Then, we will perform a Monte Carlo simulation in order to compare the simulated data respect to the real data (both in-sample and out-of-sample inspection). The reliability of the model will be deduced thanks to standard tests which highlight a good fitting of the simulated values.

Keywords: ARMA-GARCH process, electricity load, fitting tests, Fourier series, Monte Carlo simulation, non-linear regression

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10 Competitive Condition and Market Power of Islamic Banks in Indonesia

Authors: Cupian

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The expansion of Islamic banking industry seems to emphasize the banking competition in Indonesia where conventional and Islamic banks coexist. In addition, the 2007/2008 global financial crisis and deregulation have the effect on competitive conditions in Islamic banking market. In this context, this study aims at investigating competitive conditions and market power of Islamic banks in Indonesia using firm level data over the period 2006-2013. The study also attempts to identify the factors that represent the power of banking market to better study the degree of competition in this banking industry. Using samples of 27 Islamic commercial banks, the study uses a variety of structural and non-structural measures related to the traditional approach and the new empirical approach of the industrial organization (NEIO). The methodology is based on the set of measures of the competition and market power. The first measure is a set of concentration ratios (CR4) and Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHI).The second measures are the Panzar and Ross H-statistic and the Lerner index based on econometric estimations with the aim of evaluating the market structure and measuring its power in terms of price setting. The results of the competition analysis suggest that the Islamic banking markets in Indonesia cannot be characterized by the bipolar cases of either perfect competition or monopoly over 2006-2013. That is, banks earned their revenues operating under conditions of monopolistic competition in that period. Overall, Islamic banks in Indonesia operate in a relatively less competitive environment or in high market power. It is also indicated that Islamic bank that hope to achieve higher returns should operate in the competitive environment.

Keywords: bank competition, islamic banks, market structure, profitability

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9 Foreign Direct Investment and its Role in Globalisation

Authors: Gupta Indu

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This paper aims to examine the relationship between foreign direct investment and globalization. Foreign direct investment plays an important role in globalization. It is dramatically increasing in the age of globalization. It has played an important role for economic growth in this global process. It can provide new markets and marketing channels, cheaper production facilities, access to new technology, products to a firm. FDI has come to play a major role in the internationalization of business. FDI has become even more important than trade. Growing liberalization of the national regulatory framework governing investment in enterprises and changes in capital markets profound changes have occurred in the size, scope and methods of FDI. New information technology systems, decline in global communication costs have made management of foreign investments far easier than in the past. FDI provide opportunities to host countries to enhance their economic development and opens new opportunities to home countries to optimize their earnings by employing their ideal resources. Smaller and weaker economies can drive out much local competition. For small and medium sized companies, FDI represents an opportunity to become more actively involved in international business activities. In the past decade, foreign direct investment has expanded its role by change in trade policy, investment policy, tariff liberalization, easing of restrictions on foreign investment and acquisition in many nations, and the deregulation and privatization of many industries. In present competitive scenario, FDI has become a prominent external source of finance for developing countries.

Keywords: foreign direct investment, globalization, economic development, information technology systems new opportunities

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8 Detection of Bcl2 Polymorphism in Patient with Hepatocellular carcinoma

Authors: Mohamed Abdel-Hamid, Olfat Gamil Shaker, Doha El-Sayed Ellakwa, Eman Fathy Abdel-Maksoud

Abstract:

Introduction: Despite advances in the knowledge of the molecular virology of hepatitis C virus (HCV), the mechanisms of hepatocellular injury in HCV infection are not completely understood. Hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) influences the susceptibility to apoptosis. This could lead to insufficient antiviral immune response and persistent viral infection. Aim of this study: was to examine whether BCL-2 gene polymorphism at codon 43 (+127G/A or Ala43Thr) has an impact on development of hepatocellular carcinoma caused by chronic hepatitis C Egyptian patients. Subjects and Methods: The study included three groups; group 1: composing of 30 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), group 2 composing of 30 patients with HCV, group 3 composing of 30 healthy subjects matching the same age and socioeconomic status were taken as a control group. Gene polymorphism of BCL2 (Ala43Thr) were evaluated by PCR-RFLP technique and measured for all patients and controls. Results: The summed 43Thr genotype was more frequent and statistically significant in HCC patients as compared to control group. This genotype of BCL2 gene may inhibit the programmed cell death which leads to disturbance in tissue and cells homeostasis and reduction in immune regulation. This result leads to viral replication and HCV persistence. Moreover, virus produces variety of mechanisms to block genes participated in apoptosis. This mechanism proves that HCV patients who have 43Thr genotype are more susceptible to HCC. Conclusion: The data suggest for the first time that the BCL2 polymorphism is associated with the susceptibility to HCC in Egyptian populations and might be used as molecular markers for evaluating HCC risk. This study clearly demonstrated that Chronic HCV exhibit a deregulation of apoptosis with the disease progression. This provides an insight into the pathogenesis of chronic HCV infection, and may contribute to the therapy.

Keywords: BCL2 gene, Hepatitis C Virus, Hepatocellular carcinoma, sensitivity, specificity, apoptosis

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7 Antioxydant Properties and Gastroprotective Effect of Rosa canina Aqueous Extract against Alcohol-Induced Ulceration and Oxidative Stress in Rat Model

Authors: H. Sebai, M. A. Jabria, D. Wannes, H. Tounsi, L. Marzouki

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We aimed in the present study to investigate the protective effects of Tunisian Rosa canina aqueous extract (RCAE) against ethanol-induced gastric ulceration and oxidative stress in a rat model. In this respect, adult male Wistar rats were used and divided into six groups of ten each: control, EtOH, EtOH plus various doses of RCAE, EtOH plus famotidine and EtOH + gallic acid. Phytochemical and biochemical analysis were performed using colorimetric methods. We found that RCAE is rich in total polyphenols, total flavonoids, and condensed tannins, and exhibited an importance in vitro antioxidant activity on 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. In vivo, the results showed that oral administration of EtOH caused macroscopic and histological changes in gastric mucosa. These injuries are accompanied by an oxidative stress status as assessed by an increase of lipid peroxidation as well as a decrease of antioxidant enzyme activities such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Alcohol intoxication also induced intracellular mediators deregulation as assessed by an increase of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), calcium and free iron levels in gastric mucosa. More, importantly, RCAE pretreatment reversed all macroscopic, histological and biochemical changes induced by EtOH administration. In conclusion, we suggest that RCAE has potent protective effects on acute ethanol-induced gastric ulceration related in part in part its antioxidant properties and its opposite effect on intracellular mediators. Indeed, Rosa canina can be offered as a food additive to protect against alcohol consumption-induced gastric and oxidative damage.

Keywords: alcohol, antioxidant properties, food additive, gastric ulceration, rat model, Rosa canina

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6 Consumer Over-Indebtedness in Germany: An Investigation of Key Determinants

Authors: Xiaojing Wang, Ann-Marie Ward, Tony Wall

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The problem of over-indebtedness has increased since deregulation of the banking industry in the 1980s, and now it has become a major problem for most countries in Europe, including Germany. Consumer debt issues have attracted not only the attention of academics but also government and debt counselling institutions. Overall, this research aims to contribute to the knowledge gap regarding the causes of consumer over-indebtedness in Germany and to develop predictive models for assessing consumer over-indebtedness risk at consumer level. The situation of consumer over-indebtedness is serious in Germany. The relatively high level of social welfare support in Germany suggests that consumer debt problems are caused by other factors, other than just over-spending and income volatility. Prior literature suggests that the overall stability of the economy and level of welfare support for individuals from the structural environment contributes to consumers’ debt problems. In terms of cultural influence, the conspicuous consumption theory in consumer behaviour suggests that consumers would spend more than their means to be seen as similar profiles to consumers in a higher socio-economic class. This results in consumers taking on more debt than they can afford, and eventually becoming over-indebted. Studies have also shown that financial literacy is negatively related to consumer over-indebtedness risk. Whilst prior literature has examined structural and cultural influences respectively, no study has taken a collective approach. To address this gap, a model is developed to investigate the association between consumer over-indebtedness and proxies for influences from the structural and cultural environment based on the above theories. The model also controls for consumer demographic characteristics identified as being of influence in prior literature, such as gender and age, and adverse shocks, such as divorce or bereavement in the household. Benefiting from SOEP regional data, this study is able to conduct quantitative empirical analysis to test both structural and cultural influences at a localised level. Using German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study data from 2006 to 2016, this study finds that social benefits, financial literacy and the existence of conspicuous consumption all contribute to being over-indebted. Generally speaking, the risk of becoming over-indebted is high when consumers are in a low-welfare community, have little awareness of their own financial situation and always over-spend. In order to tackle the problem of over-indebtedness, countermeasures can be taken, for example, increasing consumers’ financial awareness, and the level of welfare support. By analysing causes of consumer over-indebtedness in Germany, this study also provides new insights on the nature and underlying causes of consumer debt issues in Europe.

Keywords: consumer, debt, financial literacy, socio-economic

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5 Evaluating the Business Improvement District Redevelopment Model: An Ethnography of a Tokyo Shopping Mall

Authors: Stefan Fuchs

Abstract:

Against the backdrop of the proliferation of shopping malls in Japan during the last two decades, this paper presents the results of an ethnography conducted at a recently built suburban shopping mall in Western Tokyo. Through the analysis of the lived experiences of local residents, mall customers and the mall management this paper evaluates the benefits and disadvantages of the Business Improvement District (BID) model, which was implemented as urban redevelopment strategy in the area surrounding the shopping mall. The results of this research project show that while the BID model has in some respects contributed to the economic prosperity and to the perceived convenience of the area, it has led to gentrification and the redevelopment shows some deficiencies with regard to the inclusion of the elderly population as well as to the democratization of the decision-making process within the area. In Japan, shopping malls have been steadily growing both in size and number since a series of deregulation policies was introduced in the year 2000 in an attempt to push the domestic economy and to rejuvenate urban landscapes. Shopping malls have thereby become defining spaces of the built environment and are arguably important places of social interaction. Notwithstanding the vital role they play as factors of urban transformation, they have been somewhat overlooked in the research on Japan; especially with respect to their meaning for people’s everyday lives. By examining the ways, people make use of space in a shopping mall the research project presented in this paper addresses this gap in the research. Moreover, the research site of this research project is one of the few BIDs of Japan and the results presented in this paper can give indication on the scope of the future applicability of this urban redevelopment model. The data presented in this research was collected during a nine-months ethnographic fieldwork in and around the shopping mall. This ethnography includes semi-structured interviews with ten key informants as well as direct and participant observations examining the lived experiences and perceptions of people living, shopping or working at the shopping mall. The analysis of the collected data focused on recurring themes aiming at ultimately capturing different perspectives on the same aspects. In this manner, the research project documents the social agency of different groups within one communal network. The analysis of the perceptions towards the urban redevelopment around the shopping mall has shown that mainly the mall customers and large businesses benefit from the BID redevelopment model. While local residents benefit to some extent from their neighbourhood becoming more convenient for shopping they perceive themselves as being disadvantaged by changing demographics due to rising living expenses, the general noise level and the prioritisation of a certain customer segment or age group at the shopping mall. Although the shopping mall examined in this research project is just an example, the findings suggest that in future urban redevelopment politics have to provide incentives for landowners and developing companies to think of other ways of transforming underdeveloped areas.

Keywords: business improvement district, ethnography, shopping mall, urban redevelopment

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4 Long Non-Coding RNAs Mediated Regulation of Diabetes in Humanized Mouse

Authors: Md. M. Hossain, Regan Roat, Jenica Christopherson, Colette Free, Zhiguang Guo

Abstract:

Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) mediated post-transcriptional gene regulation, and their epigenetic landscapes have been shown to be involved in many human diseases. However, their regulation in diabetes through governing islet’s β-cell function and survival needs to be elucidated. Due to the technical and ethical constraints, it is difficult to study their role in β-cell function and survival in human under in vivo condition. In this study, humanized mice have been developed through transplanting human pancreatic islet under the kidney capsule of NOD.SCID mice and induced β-cell death leading to diabetes condition to study lncRNA mediated regulation. For this, human islets from 3 donors (3000 IEQ, purity > 80%) were transplanted under the kidney capsule of STZ induced diabetic NOD.scid mice. After at least 2 weeks of normoglycecemia, lymphocytes from diabetic NOD mice were adoptively transferred and islet grafts were collected once blood glucose reached > 200 mg/dl. RNA from human donor islets, islet grafts from humanized mice with either adoptive lymphocyte transfer (ALT) or PBS control (CTL) were ribodepleted; barcoded fragment libraries were constructed and sequenced on the Ion Proton sequencer. lncRNA expression in isolated human islets, islet grafts from humanized mice with and without induced β-cell death and their regulation in human islets function in vitro under glucose challenge, cytokine mediated inflammation and induced apoptotic condition were investigated. Out of 3155 detected lncRNAs, 299 that highly expressed in islets were found to be significantly downregulated and 224 upregulated in ALT compared to CTL. Most of these are found to be collocated within 5 kb upstream and 1 kb downstream of 788 up- and 624 down-regulated mRNAs. Genomic Regions Enrichment of Annotations Analysis revealed deregulated and collocated genes are related to pancreas endocrine development; insulin synthesis, processing, and secretion; pancreatitis and diabetes. Many of them, that found to be located within enhancer domains for islet specific gene activity, are associated to the deregulation of known islet/βcell specific transcription factors and genes that are important for β-cell differentiation, identity, and function. RNA sequencing analysis revealed aberrant lncRNA expression which is associated to the deregulated mRNAs in β-cell function as well as in molecular pathways related to diabetes. A distinct set of candidate lncRNA isoforms were identified as highly enriched and specific to human islets, which are deregulated in human islets from donors with different BMIs and with type 2 diabetes. These RNAs show an interesting regulation in cultured human islets under glucose stimulation and with induced β-cell death by cytokines. Aberrant expression of these lncRNAs was detected in the exosomes from the media of islets cultured with cytokines. Results of this study suggest that the islet specific lncRNAs are deregulated in human islet with β-cell death, hence important in diabetes. These lncRNAs might be important for human β-cell function and survival thus could be used as biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets for diabetes.

Keywords: β-cell, humanized mouse, pancreatic islet, LncRNAs

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3 Profiling of the Cell-Cycle Related Genes in Response to Efavirenz, a Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor in Human Lung Cancer

Authors: Rahaba Marima, Clement Penny

Abstract:

The Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) for HIV positive patients has improved since the introduction of the highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART). However, in the present HAART era, HIV co-morbidities such as lung cancer, a non-AIDS (NAIDS) defining cancer have been documented to be on the rise. Under normal physiological conditions, cells grow, repair and proliferate through the cell-cycle as cellular homeostasis is important in the maintenance and proper regulation of tissues and organs. Contrarily, the deregulation of the cell-cycle is a hallmark of cancer, including lung cancer. The association between lung cancer and the use of HAART components such as Efavirenz (EFV) is poorly understood. This study aimed at elucidating the effects of EFV on the cell-cycle genes’ expression in lung cancer. For this purpose, the human cell-cycle gene array composed of 84 genes was evaluated on both normal lung fibroblasts (MRC-5) cells and adenocarcinoma (A549) lung cells, in response to 13µM EFV or 0.01% vehicle. The ±2 up or down fold change was used as a basis of target selection, with p < 0.05. Additionally, RT-qPCR was done to validate the gene array results. Next, In-silico bio-informatics tools, Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes/Proteins (STRING), Reactome, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) were used for gene/gene interaction studies as well as to map the molecular and biological pathways influenced by the identified targets. Interestingly, the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway genes such as p53, Ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3 related (ATR), Growth arrest and DNA damage inducible alpha (GADD45A), HUS1 checkpoint homolog (HUS1) and Role of radiation (RAD) genes were shown to be upregulated following EFV treatment, as revealed by STRING analysis. Additionally, functional enrichment analysis by the KEGG pathway revealed that most of the differentially expressed gene targets function at the cell-cycle checkpoint such as p21, Aurora kinase B (AURKB) and Mitotic Arrest Deficient-Like 2 (MAD2L2). Core analysis by IPA revealed that p53 downstream targets such as survivin, Bcl2, and cyclin/cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs) complexes are down-regulated, following exposure to EFV. Furthermore, Reactome analysis showed a significant increase in cellular response to stress genes, DNA repair genes, and apoptosis genes, as observed in both normal and cancerous cells. These findings implicate the genotoxic effects of EFV on lung cells, provoking the DDR pathway. Notably, the constitutive expression of this pathway (DDR) often leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation and eventually tumourigenesis, which could be the attribute of HAART components’ (such as EFV) effect on human cancers. Targeting the cell-cycle and its regulation holds a promising therapeutic intervention to the potential HAART associated carcinogenesis, particularly lung cancer.

Keywords: cell-cycle, DNA damage response, Efavirenz, lung cancer

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2 Integrative Omics-Portrayal Disentangles Molecular Heterogeneity and Progression Mechanisms of Cancer

Authors: Binder Hans

Abstract:

Cancer is no longer seen as solely a genetic disease where genetic defects such as mutations and copy number variations affect gene regulation and eventually lead to aberrant cell functioning which can be monitored by transcriptome analysis. It has become obvious that epigenetic alterations represent a further important layer of (de-)regulation of gene activity. For example, aberrant DNA methylation is a hallmark of many cancer types, and methylation patterns were successfully used to subtype cancer heterogeneity. Hence, unraveling the interplay between different omics levels such as genome, transcriptome and epigenome is inevitable for a mechanistic understanding of molecular deregulation causing complex diseases such as cancer. This objective requires powerful downstream integrative bioinformatics methods as an essential prerequisite to discover the whole genome mutational, transcriptome and epigenome landscapes of cancer specimen and to discover cancer genesis, progression and heterogeneity. Basic challenges and tasks arise ‘beyond sequencing’ because of the big size of the data, their complexity, the need to search for hidden structures in the data, for knowledge mining to discover biological function and also systems biology conceptual models to deduce developmental interrelations between different cancer states. These tasks are tightly related to cancer biology as an (epi-)genetic disease giving rise to aberrant genomic regulation under micro-environmental control and clonal evolution which leads to heterogeneous cellular states. Machine learning algorithms such as self organizing maps (SOM) represent one interesting option to tackle these bioinformatics tasks. The SOMmethod enables recognizing complex patterns in large-scale data generated by highthroughput omics technologies. It portrays molecular phenotypes by generating individualized, easy to interpret images of the data landscape in combination with comprehensive analysis options. Our image-based, reductionist machine learning methods provide one interesting perspective how to deal with massive data in the discovery of complex diseases, gliomas, melanomas and colon cancer on molecular level. As an important new challenge, we address the combined portrayal of different omics data such as genome-wide genomic, transcriptomic and methylomic ones. The integrative-omics portrayal approach is based on the joint training of the data and it provides separate personalized data portraits for each patient and data type which can be analyzed by visual inspection as one option. The new method enables an integrative genome-wide view on the omics data types and the underlying regulatory modes. It is applied to high and low-grade gliomas and to melanomas where it disentangles transversal and longitudinal molecular heterogeneity in terms of distinct molecular subtypes and progression paths with prognostic impact.

Keywords: integrative bioinformatics, machine learning, molecular mechanisms of cancer, gliomas and melanomas

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1 Metabolic Changes during Reprogramming of Wheat and Triticale Microspores

Authors: Natalia Hordynska, Magdalena Szechynska-Hebda, Miroslaw Sobczak, Elzbieta Rozanska, Joanna Troczynska, Zofia Banaszak, Maria Wedzony

Abstract:

Albinism is a common problem encountered in wheat and triticale breeding programs, which require in vitro culture steps e.g. generation of doubled haploids via androgenesis process. Genetic factor is a major determinant of albinism, however, environmental conditions such as temperature and media composition influence the frequency of albino plant formation. Cold incubation of wheat and triticale spikes induced a switch from gametophytic to sporophytic development. Further, androgenic structures formed from anthers of the genotypes susceptible to androgenesis or treated with cold stress, had a pool of structurally primitive plastids, with small starch granules or swollen thylakoids. High temperature was a factor inducing andro-genesis of wheat and triticale, but at the same time, it was a factor favoring the formation of albino plants. In genotypes susceptible to albinism or after heat stress conditions, cells formed from anthers were vacuolated, and plastids were eliminated. Partial or complete loss of chlorophyll pigments and incomplete differentiation of chloroplast membranes result in formation of tissues or whole plant unable to perform photosynthesis. Indeed, susceptibility to the andro-genesis process was associated with an increase of total concentration of photosynthetic pigments in anthers, spikes and regenerated plants. The proper balance of the synthesis of various pigments, was the starting point for their proper incorporation into photosynthetic membranes. In contrast, genotypes resistant to the androgenesis process and those treated with heat, contained 100 times lower content of photosynthetic pigments. In particular, the synthesis of violaxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein and chlorophyll b was limited. Furthermore, deregulation of starch and lipids synthesis, which led to the formation of very complex starch granules and an increased number of oleosomes, respectively, correlated with the reduction of the efficiency of androgenesis. The content of other sugars varied depending on the genotype and the type of stress. The highest content of various sugars was found for genotypes susceptible to andro-genesis, and highly reduced for genotypes resistant to androgenesis. The most important sugars seem to be glucose and fructose. They are involved in sugar sensing and signaling pathways, which affect the expression of various genes and regulate plant development. Sucrose, on the other hand, seems to have minor effect at each stage of the androgenesis. The sugar metabolism was related to metabolic activity of microspores. The genotypes susceptible to androgenesis process had much faster mitochondrium- and chloroplast-dependent energy conversion and higher heat production by tissues. Thus, the effectiveness of metabolic processes, their balance and the flexibility under the stress was a factor determining the direction of microspore development, and in the later stages of the androgenesis process, a factor supporting the induction of androgenic structures, chloroplast formation and the regeneration of green plants. The work was financed by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development within Program: ‘Biological Progress in Plant Production’, project no HOR.hn.802.15.2018.

Keywords: androgenesis, chloroplast, metabolism, temperature stress

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