Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research - Research Publications
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The association between mental disorders and suicide: A systematic review and meta-analysis of record linkage studies
Abstract Background There has long been debate about the extent to which mental disorders contribute to suicide. We aimed to examine the evidence on the contribution of mental disorders to suicide among record linkage studies. Methods We performed a systematic search using eight major health databases for English-language studies published between 1 January 2000 and 11 June 2018 that linked collected data on mental disorders and suicide. We then conducted a meta-analysis to assess risk of suicide conferred by mental disorders. Results Our search identified 20 articles representing 13 unique studies. The pooled rate ratio (RR) was 13.2 (95% CI 8.6–20.3) for psychotic disorders, 12.3 (95% CI 8.9–17.1) for mood disorders, 8.1 (95% CI 4.6–14.2) for personality disorders, 4.4 (95% CI 2.9–6.8) for substance use disorders, and 4.1 (95% CI 2.4–6.9) for anxiety disorders in the general population. The overall pooled RR for these mental disorders was 7.5 (95% CI 6.6–8.6). The population attributable risk of mental disorders was up to 21%. Limitations The overall heterogeneity between studies was very high. Conclusions Our findings underline the important role of mental disorders in suicide. This suggests that ongoing efforts are required to improve access to and quality of mental health care to prevent suicide by people with mental disorders.
Dealing with Time Inconsistency: Inflation Targeting versus Exchange Rate Targeting
Adopting a single instead of multiple targets can be an effective way to overcome the classic time-inconsistency problem. The choice of a single mandate depends on the trade openness and the credibility. Reduced-form empirical results show as central banks become less credible, they are more likely to adopt a pegged exchange rate, and the tendency to peg depends on trade openness. In a model with “loose commitment,” as credibility falls, either an inflation target or a pegged exchange rate is more likely to be adopted.Arelatively closed (highly open) economywould adopt an inflation target (exchange rate peg).
Impacts from Delaying Access to Retirement Benefits on Welfare Receipt and Expenditure: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
Governments are responding to fiscal pressures associated with aging populations by increasing the eligibility age for publicly-funded retirement benefits. However, recent studies show large resulting increases in the receipt of disability and unemployment benefits, which raises concern that welfare savings are offset by increased inflows into alternative payments. Using administrative data to examine the impacts of female eligibility age increases in Australia, we find little evidence of this. Instead, most of the increase is because the delay mechanically extends the receipt time of people already on alternative payments. The implication is that fiscal savings are not jeopardized by welfare substitution.
On the Origins of the Worldwide Surge in Patenting: An Industry Perspective on the R&D-Patent Relationship
(Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, 2013)
This paper decomposes the R&D-patent relationship at the industry level to shed light on the sources of the worldwide surge in patent applications. The empirical analysis is based on a unique dataset that includes 5 patent indicators computed for 18 industries in 19 countries covering the period from 1987 to 2005. The analysis shows that variations in patent applications reflect not only variations in research productivity but also variations in the appropriability and filing strategies adopted by firms. The results also suggest that the patent explosion observed in several patent offices can be attributed to the greater globalization of intellectual property rights rather than to a surge in research productivity.
Barriers and facilitators to orthopaedic surgeons' uptake of decision aids for total knee arthroplasty: a qualitative study
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-11-01)
Objectives: The demand for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is increasing. Differentiating who will derive a clinically meaningful improvement from TKA from others is a key challenge for orthopaedic surgeons. Decision aids can help surgeons select appropriate candidates for surgery, but their uptake has been low. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators to decision aid uptake among orthopaedic surgeons. Design: A qualitative study involving face-to-face interviews. Questions were constructed on the Theoretical Domains Framework to systematically explore barriers and facilitators. Setting: One tertiary hospital in Australia. Participants: Twenty orthopaedic surgeons performing TKA. Outcome measures: Beliefs underlying similar interview responses were identified and grouped together as themes describing relevant barriers and facilitators to uptake of decision aids. Results: While prioritising their clinical acumen, surgeons believed a decision aid could enhance communication and patient informed consent. Barriers identified included the perception that one’s patient outcomes were already optimal; a perceived lack of non-operative alternatives for the management of end-stage osteoarthritis, concerns about mandatory cut-offs for patient-centred care and concerns about the medicolegal implications of using a decision aid. Conclusions: Multifaceted implementation interventions are required to ensure that orthopaedic surgeons are ready, willing and able to use a TKA decision aid. Audit/ feedback to address current decision-making biases such as overconfidence may enhance readiness to uptake. Policy changes and/or incentives may enhance willingness to uptake. Finally, the design/implementation of effective non-operative treatments may enhance ability to uptake by ensuring that surgeons have the resources they need to carry out decisions.
Cohort patterns in adult literacy skills: How are new generations doing?
(ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC, 2019-01-01)
Skills are core elements of the socio-economic prospects of individuals, while they also improve national productivity, growth and social cohesion. Understanding how skills evolve over time and what drives their evolution has become a policy priority of many European countries. Using the 1994–1998 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) and the 2012 Survey on Adult Skills (PIAAC) we build synthetic cohorts and examine how the population gains, loses or preserves cognitive skills (literacy) over time. While, as expected, deterioration in the level of skills due to ageing is common to almost all the European countries studied, for some of them concerns arise for the occurrence of skill deterioration across generations, especially among less well-educated and medium-educated individuals. Certain countries appear to be doing a poorer job in providing the necessary literacy skills over successive generations.
Students are almost as effective as professors in university teaching
In a previous paper, we have shown that academic rank is largely unrelated to tutorial teaching effectiveness. In this paper, we further explore the effectiveness of the lowest-ranked instructors: students. We confirm that students are almost as effective as senior instructors, and we produce results informative on the effects of expanding the use of student instructors. We conclude that hiring moderately more student instructors would not harm students, but exclusively using them will likely negatively affect student outcomes. Given how inexpensive student instructors are, however, such a policy might still be worth it.
Does drug use lead to homelessness for young, disadvantaged people?
(Royal Statistical Society, 2019-06-01)
Drug use among homeless young people tends to be higher than drug use among those who are not homeless. Is that because drug use causes homelessness, as is often assumed? Duncan McVicar, Julie Moschion and Jan van Ours investigate.
Parenting style as an investment in human development
We propose a household production function approach to human development that explicitly considers the role of parenting style in child rearing. Specifically, parenting style is modeled as an investment that depends not only on inputs of time and market goods, but also on attention. Our model relates socioeconomic disadvantage to parenting style and human development through the constraints that disadvantage places on cognitive capacity. We find empirical support for key features of our model. Parenting style is a construct that is distinctive to standard parental investments and is important for young-adult outcomes. Effective parenting styles are negatively correlated with disadvantage.
Monetary policy shocks from the consumer perspective
Applying a latent factor model to survey expectations data on economic conditions, unemployment, family finances, and readiness to spend reveals that, following a monetary policy shock, consumer expectations adjust in the direction predicted by standard models. Further, expectations respond asymmetrically to policy tightenings or easings, are sluggish, and are consistent with an income channel of monetary policy. Inflation expectations are at first anchored, but significantly adjust in the long run, in a way that is consistent with a Delphic effect of monetary policy. Expectations are heterogeneous according to gender, income, and housing status in systematic ways.