Causal mechanisms

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  • Inflammation can also be found in the intervertebral disks resulting in discitis and spondylitis, which can be seen as narrowing of the intervertebral space and destruction of the adjacent cover plates. Seldom synovitis and osteitis can be found in the atlantoaxial area leading to erosions and destruction of the lateral atlantoaxial joint. At the worst the joint is destabilized, this may cause cord compression and neurological loss of function.

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  • The results provide evidence of significant causal community effects.We find that a 10-percentage point increase in the average ownership in one’s commu- nity leads to a four-percentage point increase in the likelihood that an indi- vidual will own stocks.

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  • This paper helps documenting the importance of the association between poor mental health, educational attainment and subsequent dropping-out behaviour. It suggests (but does not prove) that there could be a causal mechanism. Thus programmes aimed at improv- ing the mental health of adolescents may be very important for im- proving educational attainment and reducing the number of young people who are “NEET” .

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  • Policy makers, for example, should feel free to conduct national macroeconomic policies without the fear of influencing capital formation and the stock trade process. Moreover, economic theory suggests that stock prices should reflect expectations about future corporate performance, and corporate profits generally reflect the level of economic activities. If stock prices accurately reflect the underlying fundamentals, then the stock prices should be employed as leading indicators of future economic activities, and not the other way around.

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  • With the wisdom of hindsight, many of life's most consequential decisions are often a matter of happenstance. In the spring of 1965,1 was in Washington, DC, completing my second year as a Clinical Associate of the National Institute of Mental Health before I was to return to Boston for a planned career in academic psychiatry, when a friend from medical school approached me to discuss "an unusual job opportunity." Despite having secured a position on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, I could not resist this provocative invitation....

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  • Physical Activity Physical activity is associated with a decreased risk of colon and breast cancer. A variety of mechanisms have been proposed. However, such studies are prone to confounding factors such as recall bias, association of exercise with other health-related practices, and effects of preclinical cancers on exercise habits (reverse causality). Recommending adults to engage in at least 30 min of vigorous activity for ≥3 days a week is good health advice, though its effects on cancer incidence are unproven.

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  • In the T A C I T U S project for using commonsense knowledge in the understanding of texts about mechanical devices and their failures, we have been developing various commonsense theories that are needed to mediate between the way we talk about the behavior of such devices and causal models of their operation. Of central importance in this effort is the axiomatization of what might be called "commonsense metaphysics".

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