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Women: Stay Healthy at Any Age (2014 Update)
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Use this information to help you stay healthy. Learn which screening tests you need and when to get them, which medicines may prevent diseases, and steps you can take for good health.
The 10 Riskiest Industries of 2014-2015
The weakened economy has challenged the recovery of many industries over the past few years. While several operators are slowly starting to recover, certain industries are not convalescing as swiftly and have experienced increased risk. Industry risk measures the relative likelihood that an investor or creditor would receive a negative return on an investment in a particular industry over12 to 18 months. The risk rating for each industry is calculated based on an analysis of an industry’s structural risk, growth risk and sensitivity risk. IBISWorld’s risk scores are based on a scale of one to nine, with a score of one representing the lowest risk and nine representing the highest.
IBISWorld’s 10 riskiest industries are listed below. With the exception of the Corn Farming industry (which is undergoing short-term difficulties), all of these industries are in a state of long-term decline. Some may be able to re-invent themselves, despite very difficult internal and external operating conditions. While every industry is subject to a certain level of risk, these 10 industries will encounter the most difficult operating environments.
Why Are Wal-Mart and Target Next-Door Neighbors? (PDF)
Source: Federal Reserve Board
One of the most notable changes in the U.S. retail market over the past twenty years has been the rise of Big Box stores, retail chains characterized by physically large stores selling a wide range of consumer goods at discount prices. A growing literature has examined the impacts of Big Box stores on other retailers and consumers, but relatively little is known about how Big Box stores choose locations. Because Big Box stores offer highly standardized products and compete primarily on price, it is likely that they will seek to establish spatial monopolies, far from competitor stores. In this paper, I examine where new Big Box stores locate with respect to three types of existing establishments: own-firm stores, other retailers in the same product space (competitors), and retailers in other product spaces (complements). Results indicate that new Big Box stores tend to avoid existing own-firm stores and locate near complementary Big Box stores. However, there is little evidence that new Big Boxes avoid competitors. Firms in the same product space may not be perfect substitutes, or firms may prefer to share consumers in a desirable location rather than cede the entire market to competitor firms.
Fact Sheet: Polling the American Public on Climate Change (2014)
Source: Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
This fact sheet provides information on climate change polling in the United States over the last year from a variety of sources. Overall, the studies show:
- Belief that climate change is happening and is caused by human actions is continuing to rise, but it still has not reached a level comparable to the 2007 peak
- There is a large disparity among party lines when it comes to climate change, with a large majority of Democrats believing that human actions are changing the climate, while fewer Republicans hold the same belief
- However, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon dioxide regulations for power plants have widespread support, even across party lines
- There is also support for somewhat higher electricity bills if it means decreasing carbon dioxide pollution
Healthy Savings: Medical Technology and the Economic Burden of Disease (PDF)
Source: Milken Institute
The debate continues within the health policy community on the proper balance between the costs and benefits of medical technology. At a time of unprecedented change in health delivery and incentive systems and persistent concern about the cost of care, this debate has significant implications for public policy. Even with medical inflation running at a four-decade low—a condition that might suggest pressures are dissipating—the controversy is only intensifying.
Assessments of the true cost and economic benefit of medical technology (in the form of devices and diagnostics) have been hampered by the fact that direct treatment expenditures associated with technology use can be readily measured, while indirect savings, for example avoiding emergency room care and reducing hospital stays, are more difficult to capture.
Equally important, the economic benefits of reducing the burden of disease through better diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and cures extend beyond the health system to GDP gains from increased labor force participation and productivity. These gains are generated not only by patients, but by the rising participation and productivity of their informal caregivers. Yet these dividends are rarely incorporated into the evaluation of medical technologies.
In this study, we take a systematic approach to documenting the full costs and broader economic benefits of investment in representative medical technologies used to address four prevalent causes of death and disability: diabetes, heart disease, musculoskeletal disease, and colorectal cancer.1
Parental Desensitization to Violence and Sex in Movies
To assess desensitization in parents’ repeated exposure to violence and sex in movies.
A national US sample of 1000 parents living with at least 1 target child in 1 of 3 age groups (6 to 17 years old) viewed a random sequence of 3 pairs of short scenes with either violent or sexual content from popular movies that were unrestricted to youth audiences (rated PG-13 or unrated) or restricted to those under age 17 years without adult supervision (rated R). Parents indicated the minimum age they would consider appropriate to view each film. Predictors included order of presentation, parent and child characteristics, and parent movie viewing history.
As exposure to successive clips progressed, parents supported younger ages of appropriate exposure, starting at age 16.9 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.8 to 17.0) for violence and age 17.2 years (95% CI, 17.0 to 17.4) for sex, and declining to age 13.9 years (95% CI, 13.7 to 14.1) for violence and 14.0 years (95% CI, 13.7 to 14.3) for sex. Parents also reported increasing willingness to allow their target child to view the movies as exposures progressed. Desensitization was observed across parent and child characteristics, violence toward both human and non-human victims, and movie rating. Those who frequently watched movies were more readily desensitized to violence.
Parents become desensitized to both violence and sex in movies, which may contribute to the increasing acceptance of both types of content by both parents and the raters employed by the film industry.
Hat tip: PW
Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities, 2014
Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business
Historically, and for a variety of reasons, CFIB has found entrepreneurial characteristics to be strongest in Canada’s prairie cities and the urban areas that ring large urban cores. What they have in common is ‘newness’—the prairie economies have only been developed in the past 150 years or so. Only a few generations separate today’s urban prairie residents from their entrepreneurial forbearers. Similarly, suburban entrepreneurs sought the benefits of urban markets already in place, but found outlying areas more conducive to the structure and cost of doing business.
One often sees higher entrepreneurial activity in resource regions as well–although economies there can suffer from wider boom and bust business cycles. Favourable resource development conditions will attract businesses seeking to service increased activity—and, when conditions deteriorate, a strong base of experienced business owners often becomes the primary pillar of community support.
Among major centres, Canada’s overall top-ranked entrepreneurial communities in 2014 fit all these main characteristics. The combined communities of Airdrie, Rocky View, Cochrane and Chestermere that ring around Calgary’s periphery takes the top score of 70.8 out of a possible 100. This area also received the top score in 2012 and 2013. Periphery communities around Edmonton (which include Strathcona County, St. Albert, Parkland, Spruce Grove, Leduc and other smaller municipalities) climbs to second spot. Saskatoon slipped back a little, but still held its place above Saskatchewan’s other major city Regina. Kelowna is not far behind in fifth spot.
Among mid-sized urban areas, the prairie region is also still well represented, including Lloydminster, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Red Deer. Here, the obvious common element is the resource sector, which has offered many new entrepreneurial and development opportunities. Medicine Hat is another Alberta community in the top 10, as are Camrose and Brooks, which are new to the study this year. Another newcomer, Collingwood, is Ontario’s representative in the group, while Thetford Mines and Saint-Georges takes Quebec’s top spots.