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Flexibility is one of the important mechanical performance parameters of stent. The flexibility of tapered stents, especially self-expanding tapered stents, remains unknown. In this study, we developed a new selfexpanding tapered stent for tapered arteries and performed a numerical investigation of stent flexibility by using finite element method. The effect of stent design parameters, including taper and link space width, on stent flexibility was studied. The flexibility of the proposed stent was also compared with that of traditional cylindrical stents. Results show that the tapered stent is more flexible than the traditional cylindrical stent. Furthermore, the flexibility of the tapered stent increases with increasing stent taper and stent link space width. The increase in the stent link space width can contribute to the reduction in the peak stress. Therefore, tapered stents with high link space width will improve the stent flexibility. This work provides useful information for improvement of stent design and clinical selection.
Financial crisis could play a key role in changing the policy equilibrium concerning financial markets and institutions. Using a recent comprehensive dataset on financial liberalization across ninety-four countries for the period between 1973 and 2015, we formally test the validity of this prediction for the member states of the European Union as well as a global sample. We contribute by (a) using a new up-to-date dataset of reforms and crises and (b) subjecting it to a combination of difference-in-differences and local projection estimations. In the global sample, our findings on the causal relationship between crises and liberal reforms consistently point out a negative direction between the two, suggesting that governments react to crises by intervening in financial markets. However, in a dynamic setting with impulse responses, we also illustrate that such interventions are only temporary and liberalization process restarts after a financial crisis. In the EU sample, however, we do not find sufficient evidence to support either of these observations.
The financial crisis of 2007–2008, which led to the Great Recession of 2008–2009 and triggered the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area in 2010, has led to a lot of soul searching among professional economists. With the benefit of hindsight, it can now be said that these crises were misdiagnosed in two ways. First, many economists interpreted these crises to have increased the need for more flexibility in labour and product markets. Structural reforms aimed at making both labour and product markets more flexible were seen as the tools to boost economic activity and to launch countries into a higher growth path. Thus, although the initial shocks were understood to have originated from a financial and banking implosion, which led to a collapse of aggregate demand in 2009, many economists surprisingly advised to fix the supply side.
It has long been argued that structural reforms constitute a remedy for getting countries out of the low-growth environment that Europe has experienced in the last decade. Many recent studies show long-term benefits of such reforms in cross-country settings, but ignore the heterogeneity across different country experiences. To address this gap in the context of the European Union, we focus on the largest early reforms that its four members (Denmark, France, Greece and Portugal) adopted in financial and labour markets. By using a Synthetic Control Method, we find that many of these early reform episodes do not seem to have been as fruitful as their advocates claimed at the time. Our results indicate a rather mixed relationship between reforms and several macro measures, including economic growth and inequality. Reforms, especially when introduced all at once as a big-bang, do not seem to always produce the intended results.
One reason the effects of individual structural reforms are notoriously difficult to capture is the possibility that they depend upon other reforms and institutions. This chapter studies whether and to what extent reforms in labour market regulation are complementary to tax changes in increasing employment in the European Union (EU). We use a dynamic model of employment growth to estimate and try to disentangle the individual effects from the combined effects of these reforms using a yearly panel of EU countries from 1990 to 2015. Our estimates suggest that reform complementarity between labour market policy and taxation, through substantial and significant interaction effects, seems key to foster employment growth and enhance the effectiveness of both reforms.
Since the financial crisis started in 2007–2008, many advanced economies have struggled to return to their precrisis growth path. Although the recovery in the United States was relatively rapid, Europe’s wasn’t. A sovereign debt crisis led to a double-dip recession in the euro area. Unemployment soared, particularly youth unemployment in the periphery countries, and private and public investment experienced an extremely slow and protracted recovery with its precrisis level still not being reached in many countries. The experience has also been uneven across Europe’s core and periphery countries: from the form in which reforms were designed and implemented to the depth and speed of the recovery.
In contrast to the USA, Europe has struggled to return to the growth path it was on prior to the financial crisis of 2007–11. Not only has the recovery been slow, it has also been variable with Europe's core countries recovering more quickly than those on the periphery. It is widely believed that the best way to address this slow recovery is through structural reform programmes whereby changes in government policy, regulatory frameworks, investment incentives and labour markets are used to encourage more efficient markets and higher economic growth. This book is the first to provide a critical assessment of these reforms, with a new theoretical framework, new data and new empirical methodologies. It includes several case studies of countries such as Greece, Portugal and France that introduced significant reforms, revealing that such programmes have very divergent, and not always positive, effects on economic growth, employment and income inequality.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases. China has a high burden of TB and accounted for almost 13% of the world's cases of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB. Spinal TB is one reason for the resurgence of TB in China. Few large case studies of MDR spinal TB in China have been conducted. The aim of this research was to observe the epidemiological characteristics of inpatients with MDR spinal TB in six provinces and cities of China from 1999–2015. This is a multicentre retrospective observational study. Patients' information was collected from the control disease centre and infectious disease database of hospitals in six provinces and cities in China. A total of 3137 patients with spinal TB and 272 patients with MDR spinal TB were analysed. The result showed that MDR spinal TB remains a public health concern and commonly affects patients 15–30 years of age (34.19%). The most common lesions involved the thoracolumbar spine (35.66%). Local pain was the most common symptom (98.53%). Logistic analysis showed that for spinal TB patients, reside in rural district (OR 1.79), advanced in years (OR 1.92) and high education degree (OR 2.22) were independent risk factors for the development of MDR spinal TB. Women were associated with a lower risk of MDR spinal TB (OR 0.48). The most common first-line and second-line resistant drug was isoniazid (68.75%) and levofloxacin (29.04%), respectively. The use of molecular diagnosis resulted in noteworthy clinical advances, including earlier initiation of MDR spinal TB treatment, improved infection control and better clinical outcome. Chemotherapy and surgery can yield satisfactory outcomes with timely diagnosis and long-term treatment. These results enable a better understanding of the MDR spinal TB in China among the general public.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.