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Little is known about the household economic costs associated with mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders in low- and middle-income countries.
To assess the association between MNS disorders and household education, consumption, production, assets and financial coping strategies in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
We conducted an exploratory cross-sectional household survey in one district in each country, comparing the economic circumstances of households with an MNS disorder (alcohol-use disorder, depression, epilepsy or psychosis) (n = 2339) and control households (n = 1982).
Despite some heterogeneity between MNS disorder groups and countries, households with a member with an MNS disorder had generally lower levels of adult education; lower housing standards, total household income, effective income and non-health consumption; less asset-based wealth; higher healthcare expenditure; and greater use of deleterious financial coping strategies.
Households living with a member who has an MNS disorder constitute an economically vulnerable group who are susceptible to chronic poverty and intergenerational poverty transmission.
Declaration of interest
D.C. is a staff member of the World Health Organization. The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this publication and they do not necessarily represent the decisions, policy or views of the World Health Organization.
How are relationships between corporate clients and law firms evolving? Drawing on interview and survey data from 166 chief legal officers of S&P 500 companies from 2006–2007, we find that—contrary to standard depictions of corporate client-provider relationships—(1) large companies have relationships with ten to twenty preferred providers; (2) these relationships continue to be enduring; and (3) clients focus not only on law firm platforms and lead partners, but also on teams and departments within preferred providers, allocating work to these subunits at rival firms over time and following “star” lawyers, especially if they move as part of a team. The combination of long-term relationships and subunit rivalry provides law firms with steady work flows and allows companies to keep cost pressure on firms while preserving relationship-specific capital, quality assurance, and soft forms of legal capacity insurance. Our findings have implications for law firms, corporate departments, and law schools.
Insurance companies often follow highly correlated investment strategies. As major investors in corporate bonds, their investment commonalities subject investors to fire sale risk when regulatory restrictions prompt widespread divestment of a bond following a rating downgrade. Reflective of fire sale risk, the clustering of insurance companies in a bond has significant explanatory power for yield spreads, controlling for liquidity, credit risk, and other factors. The effect of insurer clustering on bond yield spreads is more evident for bonds held to a greater extent by capital-constrained insurance companies, those with ratings closer to National Association of Insurance Commissioners risk categories with larger capital requirements, and during the financial crisis.
Overconfident CEOs/senior executives tend to have excessively positive views of their own skills and their company’s future performance. We hypothesize that overconfident managers are more likely to engage in reckless or intentional actions/disclosures that give rise to securities class actions (SCAs). Empirical evidence is supportive: Overconfident CEOs/senior executives increase SCA likelihood, though litigation risk is ameliorated through improved governance, such as following the Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002. Post-SCA, companies are less likely to hire an overconfident CEO. Following an SCA, overconfident CEOs appear to moderate behavior and to reduce their litigation risk.
All-solid-state batteries utilizing a ceramic instead of an organic liquid as an electrolyte have the potential to be safer and more energy dense than traditional rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. This emergent energy-storage technology, however, is still critically limited by the performance of the solid electrolyte and its interface with electrodes. Here, we present a review of recent efforts in predictive modeling and materials design for lithium and sodium solid electrolytes using advanced computational approaches. These approaches have enabled the efficient design and discovery of new functional materials with desired properties, such as high alkali ionic conductivity, good phase and electrochemical stability, and low cost, accelerating the development of all-solid-state alkali batteries.
Solid-state electrolytes can offer improved lithium-ion battery safety while potentially increasing the energy density by enabling alkali metal anodes. There have been significant research efforts to improve the ionic conductivity of solid-state electrolytes and the electrochemical performance of all-solid-state batteries; however, the root causes of their poor performance—interfacial reaction and subsequent impedance growth—are poorly understood. This is due to the dearth of effective characterization techniques for probing these buried interfaces. In situ and operando methodologies are currently under development for solid-state interfaces, and they offer the potential to describe the dynamic interfacial processes that serve as performance bottlenecks. This article highlights state-of-the-art solid–solid interface probing methodologies, describes practical limitations, and describes a future for dynamic interfacial characterization.
Solid-state batteries are considered the holy grail of next-generation battery technology, meeting the ever-increasing demand for energy storage that is affordable and safe, with high energy density and long cycle life. Materials and interfaces play a critical role for their eventual success and mass commercialization. This issue of MRS Bulletin focuses on the current state of the art of solid-state electrolytes and device architectures and provides a perspective into the various materials and interfacial challenges that limit its performance and stability.
Historically, batteries with lithium metal anodes have been a hazard, as the lithium becomes rough and eventually finely divided during cycling. The promise of higher energy density, however, continues to drive the search for novel approaches to manage this light and reactive material. Significant improvement has been achieved by designing new liquid-electrolyte compositions and interface barriers to stabilize the lithium in traditional batteries, but it is clear that solid-state batteries ensure a higher level of safety and perhaps higher energy density and lifetimes. The materials challenge then is to fabricate a cost-effective solid electrolyte that effectively maintains lithium as a dense uniform metal layer. This article describes the ideal cycling behavior of lithium and progress toward this goal of a solid electrolyte using glassy, ceramic, polymer, and composite electrolytes, as well as the challenges that continue to arise toward long-term, high-rate, and efficient cycling of lithium metal.