Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research - Research Publications

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    Assessing Individual Income Growth
    Jenkins, SP ; Van Kerm, P (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-10-01)
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    European and Australasian Econometrics and Health Economics Workshop papers Introduction
    Jones, A ; O'Donnell, O ; Scott, A ; Shields, M (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-09-01)
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    Research Funding Mechanisms and Biomedical Research Outputs
    Clark, J ; Hirsch, G ; Jensen, PH ; Webster, E (WILEY, 2016-06-01)
    We use scientist-level panel data in order to estimate the effect which the number, type and source of research grants has on subsequent commercial contracts, publications and patent outputs. In so doing, we control for time-invariant factors including individual researcher preferences, the nature of the work and the business model of the researcher's laboratory. We find that, whereas Fellowships and Project or program grants had a positive effect on whether the scientist subsequently signed a commercial contract, Equipment and Development grants had the largest impact per grant. Finally, we find that International grants were negatively associated with the number of commercial contracts signed. The data were drawn from 488 biomedical researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute over the period 2009–2012.
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    Explaining Improved Use of High-Risk Medications in Medicare Between 2007 and 2011
    Driessen, J ; Baik, SH ; Zhang, Y (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016-03-01)
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    Regulating electronic cigarettes
    Burkhauser, RV (Wiley, 2016-03-01)
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    Quantification of heterogeneity in lung disease with image-based pulmonary function testing
    Stahr, CS ; Samarage, CR ; Donnelley, M ; Farrow, N ; Morgan, KS ; Zosky, G ; Boucher, RC ; Siu, KKW ; Mall, MA ; Parsons, DW ; Dubsky, S ; Fouras, A (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2016-07-27)
    Computed tomography (CT) and spirometry are the mainstays of clinical pulmonary assessment. Spirometry is effort dependent and only provides a single global measure that is insensitive for regional disease, and as such, poor for capturing the early onset of lung disease, especially patchy disease such as cystic fibrosis lung disease. CT sensitively measures change in structure associated with advanced lung disease. However, obstructions in the peripheral airways and early onset of lung stiffening are often difficult to detect. Furthermore, CT imaging poses a radiation risk, particularly for young children, and dose reduction tends to result in reduced resolution. Here, we apply a series of lung tissue motion analyses, to achieve regional pulmonary function assessment in β-ENaC-overexpressing mice, a well-established model of lung disease. The expiratory time constants of regional airflows in the segmented airway tree were quantified as a measure of regional lung function. Our results showed marked heterogeneous lung function in β-ENaC-Tg mice compared to wild-type littermate controls; identified locations of airway obstruction, and quantified regions of bimodal airway resistance demonstrating lung compensation. These results demonstrate the applicability of regional lung function derived from lung motion as an effective alternative respiratory diagnostic tool.
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    Technical Note: Contrast free angiography of the pulmonary vasculature in live mice using a laboratory x-ray source
    Samarage, CR ; Carnibella, R ; Preissner, M ; Jones, HD ; Pearson, JT ; Fouras, A ; Dubsky, S (WILEY, 2016-11-01)
    PURPOSE: In vivo imaging of the pulmonary vasculature in small animals is difficult yet highly desirable in order to allow study of the effects of a host of dynamic biological processes such as hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction. Here the authors present an approach for the quantification of changes in the vasculature. METHODS: A contrast free angiography technique is validated in silico through the use of computer-generated images and in vivo through microcomputed tomography (μCT) of live mice conducted using a laboratory-based x-ray source. Subsequent image processing on μCT data allowed for the quantification of the caliber of pulmonary vasculature without the need for external contrast agents. These measures were validated by comparing with quantitative contrast microangiography in the same mice. RESULTS: Quantification of arterial diameters from the method proposed in this study is validated against laboratory-based x-ray contrast microangiography. The authors find that there is a high degree of correlation (R = 0.91) between measures from microangiography and their contrast free method. CONCLUSIONS: A technique for quantification of murine pulmonary vasculature without the need for contrast is presented. As such, this technique could be applied for longitudinal studies of animals to study changes to vasculature without the risk of premature death in sensitive mouse models of disease. This approach may also be of value in the clinical setting.
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    Welfare Receipt and the Intergenerational Transmission of Work-Welfare Norms
    Barón, JD ; Cobb-Clark, DA ; Erkal, N (Wiley, 2015)
    This article investigates the role of welfare receipt in shaping norms regarding work and welfare using unique Australian data from the Youth in Focus Project. We begin by incorporating welfare into a theoretical model of the transmission of work-welfare norms across generations. Consistent with the predictions of this model, we find evidence that youths' attitudes toward work and welfare may be influenced by socialization within their families. Young people are more likely to oppose generous social benefits and to believe that social inequality stems from individual characteristics if (i) their mothers support these views; (ii) their mothers were employed while they were growing up; and (iii) their families never received welfare. Finally, youths' work-welfare norms appear to be unrelated to their neighbors' welfare receipt suggesting that socialization occurs primarily within families rather than within neighborhoods.
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    Western diet is associated with a smaller hippocampus: a longitudinal investigation
    Jacka, FN ; Cherbuin, N ; Anstey, KJ ; Sachdev, P ; Butterworth, P (BMC, 2015-09-08)
    BACKGROUND: Recent meta-analyses confirm a relationship between diet quality and both depression and cognitive health in adults. While the biological pathways that underpin these relationships are likely multitudinous, extensive evidence from animal studies points to the involvement of the hippocampus. The aim of this study was to examine the association between dietary patterns and hippocampal volume in humans, and to assess whether diet was associated with differential rates of hippocampal atrophy over time. METHODS: Data were drawn from the Personality and Total Health Through Life Study and focused on a subsample of the cohort (n = 255) who were aged 60-64 years at baseline in 2001, completed a food frequency questionnaire, and underwent two magnetic resonance imaging scans approximately 4 years apart. Longitudinal generalized estimating equation linear regression models were used to assess the association between dietary factors and left and right hippocampal volumes over time. RESULTS: Every one standard deviation increase in healthy "prudent" dietary pattern was associated with a 45.7 mm(3) (standard error 22.9 mm(3)) larger left hippocampal volume, while higher consumption of an unhealthy "Western" dietary pattern was (independently) associated with a 52.6 mm(3) (SE 26.6 mm(3)) smaller left hippocampal volume. These relationships were independent of covariates including age, gender, education, labour-force status, depressive symptoms and medication, physical activity, smoking, hypertension and diabetes. While hippocampal volume declined over time, there was no evidence that dietary patterns influenced this decline. No relationships were observed between dietary patterns and right hippocampal volume. CONCLUSIONS: Lower intakes of nutrient-dense foods and higher intakes of unhealthy foods are each independently associated with smaller left hippocampal volume. To our knowledge, this is the first human study to demonstrate associations between diet and hippocampal volume concordant with data previously observed in animal models.