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    ABSTRACT: The question of whether there is a connection between income and psychological well-being is a long-studied issue across the social, psychological, and behavioral sciences. Much research has found that richer people tend to be happier. However, relatively little attention has been paid to whether happier individuals perform better financially in the first place. This possibility of reverse causality is arguably understudied. Using data from a large US representative panel, we show that adolescents and young adults who report higher life satisfaction or positive affect grow up to earn significantly higher levels of income later in life. We focus on earnings approximately one decade after the person's well-being is measured; we exploit the availability of sibling clusters to introduce family fixed effects; we account for the human capacity to imagine later socioeconomic outcomes and to anticipate the resulting feelings in current well-being. The study's results are robust to the inclusion of controls such as education, intelligence quotient, physical health, height, self-esteem, and later happiness. We consider how psychological well-being may influence income. Sobel-Goodman mediation tests reveal direct and indirect effects that carry the influence from happiness to income. Significant mediating pathways include a higher probability of obtaining a college degree, getting hired and promoted, having higher degrees of optimism and extraversion, and less neuroticism.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2012; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1211437109
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    ABSTRACT: As the financial and physical markets for energy have increasingly become intertwined, energy trade is also covered by financial legislation. The European Commission wishes to strengthen this financial regulation of energy trade. It has put forward a set of regulatory proposals aimed at stabilizing financial markets and limiting volatility of energy prices. The most noteworthy are EMIR, MAD, REMIT and the revised MiFID. Key elements are transparency, new trading venues, central clearing obligations and mandatory transaction reporting. This article evaluates the likely outcomes for energy markets, given the new incentives for market parties. It argues that although there is no ground to exempt particular energy market participants such as energy companies from financial legislation, increased regulation will not necessarily bring about the effects the Commission desires. The causal link between derivatives trading and volatility of energy prices is not known precisely and many of the economic effects of the proposed legislation are theoretically and empirically ambiguous. Moreover, potentially conflicting instruments and objectives risk policy inconsistency.
    Energy Policy 08/2012; 47:468–477. DOI:10.1016/j.enpol.2012.05.030
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    ABSTRACT: It is commonly recognized that the setting of health priorities requires value judgements and that these judgements are social. Justifying social value judgements is an important element in any public justification of how priorities are set. The purpose of this paper is to review a number of social values relating both to the process and content of priority-setting decisions. A set of key process and content values basic to health priority setting is outlined, and normative analysis applied to those values to identify their key features, possible interpretations in different cultural and institutional contexts, and interactions with other values. Process values are found to be closely linked, such that success in increasing, for example, transparency may depend on increasing participation or accountability, and "content" values are found often to be hidden in technical criteria. There is a complex interplay between value and technical components of priority setting, and between process and content values. Levels of economic development, culture and need will all play a part in determining how different systems balance the values in their decisions. Technical analyses of health priority setting are commonplace, but approaching the issues from the perspective of social values is a more recent approach and one which this paper seeks to refine and develop.
    Journal of Health Organisation and Management 06/2012; 26(3):293-316. DOI:10.1108/14777261211238954
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of health priority setting structures in Germany. It reflects on how and which social values may influence decision making, and in particular investigates the role of the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) in integrating evidence-based decision making into the German system. The paper applies Clark and Weale's framework of analysis for Social Values and Health Priority Setting to the German context. Placing German health care decision making into Clark and Weale's framework allows for an analysis of the role and content of social values in different dimensions of decision making. Germany has witnessed significant changes in its health care decision-making procedures in recent decades. The establishment of the Institute of Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) represents an effort to introduce health technology assessment (HTA) as a formal element of decision making in health care. In doing so, Germany has made unique methodological and structural choices that reflect the social values and institutional traditions that underpin its self-governing statutory health insurance (SHI) system. The empirical evidence suggests that the principle of solidarity is upheld as a core value in health priority setting in Germany. The German case of health priority setting highlights some of the challenges involved when introducing centralised HTA structures to a self-governing SHI system. As such, this paper contributes to an understanding of the different forms that HTA can take, what social values they embody and how they can affect health priority setting in different ways.
    Journal of Health Organisation and Management 06/2012; 26(3):374-83. DOI:10.1108/14777261211239016
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    ABSTRACT: The Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCOB) has published two reports (1999 and 2004) on the social and ethical issues involved in the use of genetically modified crops. This presentation summarises their core ethical arguments. Five sets of ethical concerns have been raised about GM crops: potential harm to human health; potential damage to the environment; negative impact on traditional farming practice; excessive corporate dominance; and the 'unnaturalness' of the technology. The NCOB examined these claims in the light of the principle of general human welfare, the maintenance of human rights and the principle of justice. It concluded in relation to the issue of 'unnaturalness' that GM modification did not differ to such an extent from conventional breeding that it is in itself morally objectionable. In making an assessment of possible costs, benefits and risks, it was necessary to proceed on a case-by-case basis. However, the potential to bring about significant benefits in developing countries (improved nutrition, enhanced pest resistance, increased yields and new products) meant that there was an ethical obligation to explore these potential benefits responsibly, to contribute to the reduction of poverty, and improve food security and profitable agriculture in developing countries. NCOB held that these conclusions were consistent with any practical precautionary approach. In particular, in applying a precautionary approach the risks associated with the status quo need to be considered, as well as any risks inherent in the technology. These ethical requirements have implications for the governance of the technology, in particular mechanisms for enabling small-scale farmers to express their preferences for traits selected by plant breeders and mechanisms for the diffusion of risk-based evaluations.
    New Biotechnology 11/2010; 27(5):582-7. DOI:10.1016/j.nbt.2010.08.013
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    ABSTRACT: This article examines the impact of Britain's Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 on British central government. The article identifies six objectives for FOI in the United Kingdom and then examines to what extent FOI has met them, briefly comparing the United Kingdom with similar legislation in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. It concludes that FOI has achieved the core objectives of increasing transparency and accountability, though the latter only in particular circumstances, but not the four secondary objectives: improved decision-making by government, improved public understanding, increased participation, and trust in government. This is not because the Act has “failed” but because the objectives were overly ambitious and FOI is shaped by the political environment in which it is placed.
    Governance 09/2010; 23(4):561 - 582. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0491.2010.01498.x
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    ABSTRACT: This article sets out to counteract HM Evans's "fair's fair argument" in support of abolishing veto to research participation. Evans's argument attempts to assimilate ordinary clinical practice to clinical research. I shall refer to this attempt as "assimilation claim". I shall attempt to show that this assimilation, as it is carried out in Evans's argument, is misleading and, ultimately, logically undermines the conclusion. I shall then proceed to show that when the fair's fair argument is proposed independently of the assimilation claim, Evans's conclusion is not unavoidable and possible alternatives are equally open within the terms of the argument itself.
    Journal of Medical Ethics 09/2006; 32(8):478-82. DOI:10.1136/jme.2005.013763
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    ABSTRACT: Adult education has long been the Cinderella of the education system. This is not helped by the fact that there is currently an impasse between employers, government and individuals over who should finance such training. So what, if anything, can philosophers do to help resolve the normative question of who ought to pay, setting aside for the moment the practical question of how this might be put into effect? An important strand of contemporary egalitarian philosophy argues that equality of opportunity for education should be implemented in such a way that children with the same level of talent and the same willingness to make an effort have the same opportunity to attain skills and qualifications such that they are each able (at the onset of adult life) to compete effectively with others for advantageous positions and rewards in society. But what about children or teenagers who drop out of education or make such little effort that they achieve wholly inadequate exam results? Should they be offered second and third chances for free education as adults funded by the state? A case is made for lifelong as opposed to one-off equality of opportunity for education on a number of grounds, including efficiency, utility, the value of choice, the social bases of self-respect and responsibility-catering prioritarianism. This last view supports lifelong access to education (for reasons of priority) but with the additional (responsibility-catering) stipulation that adults should contribute at least some of the costs themselves in so far as they are accountable for not making enough effort the first time around.
    Journal of Philosophy of Education 04/2006; 40(1):63 - 84. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-9752.2006.00500.x
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Individual responsibility is now very much on the political agenda. Even those who believe that its importance has been exaggerated by the political right — either because the appropriate conditions for assigning responsibility to individuals are rarely satisfied or because not enough is done to protect individuals from the more harmful consequences of their past choices and gambles — accept that individual responsibility is at least one of the values against which a society and its institutions ought to be evaluated. One might be forgiven for assuming, then, that we know exactly why individual responsibility is important. The truth is otherwise. Surprisingly little philosophical work has been undertaken to analyse and separate out the different rationales that might be in play. Several possible reasons are examined here including: utility, the social bases of self-respect, autonomy, human flourishing and fairness. However, once we adopt a pluralistic view of the value of individual responsibility we open up the possibility of value conflict, which conflict can make it harder to arrive at definitive prescriptions about which social policies best advance our concerns for individual responsibility. It is nevertheless possible to draw at least some conclusions about which policies we should favour. One important conclusion is that sometimes it is better not to hold individuals responsible for their past choices by denying them aid now, so that they might be better able to assume individual responsibility at a later date.
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 02/2005; 22(1):23 - 44. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-5930.2005.00290.x
  • The Lancet 10/2004; 364(9441):1200-2. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)17158-4
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