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In this article we talk about how technology can be disruptive for society, but not always for the reasons most think. See, many researchers assume that technology replaces jobs because people don't have the skills or brains to keep up, or because they perform routine tasks. Actually, that's not the case.

Basically, we propose that the way technology is designed can make it more or less likely for it to take over certain tasks and disrupt certain occupations that used to be done by humans. We argue therefore that the cybernetic characteristics of technologies are the real reason why they can be so disruptive.

To really understand how this all works and how it affects people's well-being, we need to use a mix of cybernetics science and occupational science. And when it comes to policy, we need to think beyond just productivity and jobs. It's important to consider the impact of technology on people's lives and the way they engage in all kinds of everyday occupations.

A good example of this is how the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to use online food delivery services and remote work technologies. These changes were made to keep people safe, but they also had some unintended consequences.

We think it's urgent to consider the ethical implications of how technological innovations can affect people's lives. It's not just about making things more efficient or increasing wealth - it's about making sure that technology is actually improving our daily occupations in a meaningful and purposeful way.

People playing computer games

Technological Analysis
Occupational Analysis

Policy Analysis

Technological innovations and obsolescence: Leveling the playing field for remanufacturing

In a linear economy, it's cheaper and more profitable to make new products instead of reusing and repairing existing ones. This is because it costs less for companies to produce from extracted materials. However, manufacturing new products also leads to more resource extraction and waste, which are costs that aren't directly paid by the companies and are instead paid by all of us.

 

In our research, we looked at how new technologies that focus on reusing and repairing products (called remanufacturing) can benefit society and create more meaningful jobs and occupations. We found that replacing manufacturing with remanufacturing technologies has positive effects on the economy by reducing waste and creating a circular system. These effects can be measured to see how they improve social outcomes. To illustrate our findings, we presented a case study on the remanufacturing of smartphones.

 

In the future, it would be valuable to study other specific cases to develop a comprehensive way of measuring the impact of remanufacturing on society. This will help us to understand the wider implications of remanufacturing practices.

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Environmental Analysis
Policy Analysis
Time Series Analysis
Panel Data Analysis


Banking stability, natural disasters, and state fragility: Panel VAR evidence from developing countries

This study looks at how natural disasters and unstable governments can affect the economies of developing countries. We used panel VAR to analyze data from up to 66 countries over 17 years. We found that natural disasters and unstable governments can cause big problems for countries that are not very rich. Disasters like earthquakes and floods can hurt the economy for a short time, as they mostly make it harder for people to pay back their loans. On the other hand, when governments are weak and unstable, it can cause long-term damage to the economy and make it hard for people to access banking services.

Tornado

Policy Analysis
Time Series Analysis


The effect of oil price on China’s exports

Data shows that the price of oil goes up at the same time China exports more to other countries, even though China needs to import oil. This study explains why this happens. We develop a theory that shows that when China's economy grows, it makes oil prices go up, and this negatively affects other countries that export similar goods more than China. This is because China has a large number of workers and can still produce cheaper than other countries despite increases in the price of oil. We tested this theory using data from 1992 to 2005, and we found that the theory is validated by the data.

Container Ship

Policy Analysis
Time Series Analysis
Nonparametric Analysis


Can globalisation stop the decline in commodities’ terms of trade?

This study looks at whether a completely connected world economy would stop the decline in the relative prices of commodities. To investigate this, we studied the price trends of commodities in the US, which has a highly connected economy. We found that over the period of 1947-1998, the price of commodities in the US slowly declined, but that the decline is not the result of globalization. This suggests that even if the world economy was completely connected, the decline in basic material prices would still continue.

Barley Grains

Our study explores Brazil's economic struggles with hyperinflation in the late 20th century. We investigated how different monetary policies affected the economy during this time. We found that the policies that didn't work had one thing in common: there was too much money in circulation. This caused problems for the economy and made it harder for stabilization plans to succeed. Our study shows that better management of money could have prevented these problems from happening. The study sheds light on how economic policies can have a big impact on a country's financial health.

Image by Rajiv Perera

Policy Analysis
Crime Analysis
Panel Data Analysis


Femicide Rates in Mexican Cities along the US-Mexico Border

Cities in Mexico that are located along the border with the US, particularly Cd. Juarez, have gained a reputation for having high rates of women homicide, known as femicide. This has been attributed to the presence of maquiladora industries and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

 

However, when we analyze the data from 1990 to 2012, we find that the femicide rates in these cities are similar to rates in other Mexican cities. In fact, as more job opportunities become available in maquiladoras, the femicide rates tend to decrease. Additionally, when we compare the femicide rates in Cd. Juarez to cities like Cd. Chihuahua and Ensenada, they are comparable.

 

Furthermore, when we consider femicide rates as a proportion of the overall homicide rates, Cd. Juarez actually has lower rates compared to many other cities. A large proportion of the victims are not young, are unemployed, and have or have had intimate partners. These findings challenge the commonly held beliefs and most of the existing literature on the subject.

 

Based on this analysis we conclude that policies that promote the protection of women against domestic or partner violence, through increased gender emancipation and the availability of safe spaces, should be integral components of any effort to reduce femicide rates in the region.

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Action research is consistent with the recommendations for person-centered health promotion. It helps to build responsible and responsive practice with the populations we work with, strengthening their capacity to take initiative. Action research is an important tool to stimulate participation and involvement of all, whether you are a patient, a user, an occupational therapist or a researcher, in activities that are meaningful and rewarding, while preserving health as a collective good.

Handshake

Recently, the French healthcare system has shifted its focus to prevention, and occupational therapists are being asked to play a bigger role in promoting health. This means they will work with communities that face social and economic challenges that affect their health and lifestyle. By using an occupational justice perspective, occupational therapists can provide interventions that focus on helping people engage in meaningful activities. This emerging field presents a great opportunity for occupational therapists to make a difference in communities that need it most.

Tai Chi Class

Community development is a way to address the everyday challenges people face in their lives. Occupational therapists can rely on ideas from occupational justice to understand how social factors can affect people's health. To be prepared for this new kind of work, it is necessary for occupational therapy students to learn how to think about the ways social injustice shows up in people's everyday lives.

Young Activists

Policy Analysis
Time Series Analysis
Panel Data Analysis


BAD taxation: Disintermediation and illiquidity in a bank account debits tax model

Our study examines how a tax on bank account debits (BAD) can affect the economy. Some countries, including Australia and many in Latin America, have implemented this type of tax. We looked at how the tax could impact the availability of money in the financial system, the ability of investors to trade assets, and the return on financial investments. We found that the tax revenue generated from the tax is overestimated, and that the tax may have negative effects on the economy, including higher interest rates and losses for businesses. The study suggests that a very high tax may actually lead to less revenue for the government.

Image by Nick Pampoukidis

This article is about studying crime rates in neighbor cities across the US-Mexico border. These cities have a lot in common, but they also have some differences, like how they're governed and how many people live in them. We used panel data to figure out why some cities have higher murder rates than others. We found that the main reason for higher murder rates on the Mexican side of the border is that the police aren't doing a good job of catching criminals. The Mexican cities also have more people in a smaller area, which can make crime more likely. But interestingly, we found that cultural differences don't seem to be a big factor in crime rates. We also found that crime tends to happen in clusters in Mexican cities, while it's more spread out in American cities. Finally, we found that murder rates have been going down in both countries, which is good news. In fact, some American cities now have murder rates lower than in the rest of the country.

Handgun and  Ammunition
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