Global Crises, Global Solutions


This volume provides a uniquely rich set of arguments and data for prioritizing our responses to some of the most serious problems facing the world today, such as climate change, communicable diseases, conflicts, education, financial instability, corruption, migration, malnutrition and hunger, trade barriers, and water access. Leading economists evaluate the evidence for costs and benefits of various programs to help gauge how we can achieve the most good with our money. Each problem is introduced by a ...
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This volume provides a uniquely rich set of arguments and data for prioritizing our responses to some of the most serious problems facing the world today, such as climate change, communicable diseases, conflicts, education, financial instability, corruption, migration, malnutrition and hunger, trade barriers, and water access. Leading economists evaluate the evidence for costs and benefits of various programs to help gauge how we can achieve the most good with our money. Each problem is introduced by a world-renowned expert analyzing the scale of the problem and describing the costs and benefits of a range of policy options to improve the situation. Shorter pieces from experts offering alternative positions are also included; all ten challenges are evaluated by a panel of economists from North America, Europe, and China who rank the most promising policy options. Global Crises, Global Solutions provides a serious, yet accessible, springboard for debate and discussion and will be required reading for government employees, NGOs, scholars and students of public policy and applied economics, and anyone with a serious professional or personal interest in global development issues. Bjørn Lomborg is Associate Professor of Statistics at the University of Aarhus and the director of the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute. He is also the author of the controversial bestseller, The Skeptical Environmentalist (Cambridge, 2001).
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This very useful compilation will serve to advance thinking and stimulate debate on these and related important contemporary global concerns." A.R. Sanderson, University of Chicago, CHOICE

"A hugely sensible book about global health and environmental problems, based on the 'Copenhagen Consensus' project documented in The Economist. Its authors, eminent economists, recognise that the resources to tackle such problems are finite and need to be applied where they are most likely to be effective. Better, for instance, to spend resources on the immediate problem of AIDS in Africa than the more distant one of global warming. This book is a healthy antidote to the narrow views of single-issue pressure groups." the Economist "Best Books of the Year"

"Especially recommended reading for government employees, non-governmental organizations, students of public policy and applied economics, and any individual with a direct personal or professional interest in global development issues." BOOKWATCH

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521844468
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2004
  • Pages: 670
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Bjorn Lomborg is Associate Professor of Statistics, University of Aarhus and former Director, Environmental Assessment Institute, Copenhagen. He is author of the controversial best-seller The Skeptical Environmentalist 0521 1010683.
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Table of Contents

List of figures; List of tables; List of boxes; Preface; List of contributors; List of abbreviations and acronyms; Introduction Bjørn Lomborg; Part I. The Challenges: 1. Climate change William Cline; Alternative perspectives 1.1 Robert Mendelsohn 1.2 Alan S. Manne; 2. Communicable diseases Anne Mills and Sam Shilcutt; Alternative perspectives 2.1 David B. Evans 2.2 Jacques van der Gaag; 3. Conflicts and arms proliferation Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler; Alternative perspectives 3.1 Michael D. Intraligator 3.2 Tony Addison; 4. Access to education Lant Pritchett; Alternative perspectives 4.1 T. Paul Schultz 4.2 Ludger Wöbmann; 5. Financial instability Barry Eichengreen; Alternative perspectives 5.1 Charles Wyplosz; 5.2 Peter Blair Henry; 6. Governance and corruption Susan Rose-Ackerman; Alternative perspectives 6.1 Jens Christopher Andvig; 6.2 Jean Cartier-Bresson; 7. Malnutrition and hunger Jere R. Behrman, Harold Alderman and John Hoddinott; Alternative perspectives 7.1 Peter Svedberg; 7.2 Simon Appleton; 8. Migration Philip Martin; Alternative perspectives 8.1 Mark Rosenzweig 8.2 Roger Böhning; 9. Sanitation and access to clean water Frank Rijsberman; Alternative perspectives 9.1 John J. Boland 9.2 Henry Vaux, Jr. 10. Subsidies and trade barriers Kym Anderson; Alternative perspectives 10.1 Jan Pronk 10.2 Arvind Panagariya; Part II. Ranking the Opportunities: Jagdish Bhagwati, Robert Fogel, Bruno Frey, Justin Yifu Lin, Douglass North, Thomas Schelling, Vernon Smith and Nancy Stokey; Expert Panel; Youth Parliament; Index.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    Highly Recommended!

    This report is an excellent, controversial and refreshing approach to global problems. Daily, the news media and politicians declare that another crisis is urgent. Often, loud, public resolutions accompany these pronouncements. Political blocs form to push through agendas based on those resolutions. The only thing missing from the process is a dispassionate analysis of whether the solutions make economic sense and, if so, which ones make the most economic sense. This book of compiled essays from the Copenhagen Consensus - as documented in The Economist - provides that missing element. The conference drew from United Nations documents to assemble a list of the most urgent problems facing the world and identified those that presented opportunities for solutions. Then it set the task of identifying solutions that would provide the biggest benefit for the cost, examining 38 proposals for spending $50 billion over four years. Surprisingly, some of the most economically rational projects never make headlines and never turn up in public exhortations. When was the last time you saw someone climbing onto a platform to demand mosquito nets to prevent malaria in Africa? That may not come up nearly as often as adherence to the Kyoto Protocol, which provides a far weaker cost vs. benefit scenario. According to the analysts from Copenhagen, the former seems to be a very sound use of the world¿s problem-solving resources, but the latter costs a lot and seems to deliver relatively few benefits. We highly recommend this intriguing, sweeping conversation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2004

    Useful survey of the state of the world's nations

    Any warming of the earth from manmade emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will probably be modest, most likely rising by 2 to 2.5 degrees centigrade over the 21st century (according to the UN Climate Panel). The Climate Panel says that it will not reduce food production or increase the number or intensity of hurricanes. This is hardly the most important problem for any of the world's nations. Nature and humanity will easily adjust to it. There is only one valid measure of the overall state of the environment: average life expectancy. By this standard, the environment has been improving for a century. More humans are healthier than they have ever been. The biggest improvement in life expectancy of the last 50 years was achieved by revolutionary China, as average lifespan rose from 30 to 70 years for 1.2 billion people. The second biggest improvement was by independent India, freed at last from the massive famines characteristic of the centuries of British rule. The most significant manmade worsening of life expectancy, five fewer years on average, happened in post-counter-revolutionary Russia. In Britain our life expectancies continue to rise. There are huge problems facing the world's nations: every year, ten million children under the age of five die of preventable diseases. 1.1 billion people still have no clean drinking water, and 2.5 billion have no access to sanitation, causing two million deaths a year and 500 million severe illnesses. The more spent on measures against global warming, the less is spent on more immediately vital matters, such as access to clean drinking water. Britain, like every other nation, needs an integrated plan, using renewables, coal, nuclear energy, oil and gas. We cannot leave development to the anarchy of capitalism, where power companies indulge in an EU-driven feeding frenzy of competition, acquisition, merger and destruction. Foreign ownership of Britain's utilities means minimum investment, maximum export of profits. The essential work of refurbishing the national grid will cost an estimated £10 billion - where's the investment going to come from? Foreign utility companies? So cutting carbon emissions is not the best way to achieve progress. It would be costly, yet ineffective. For example, it is estimated that implementing the Kyoto agreement would cost $1 trillion, and it would only cut a tiny slice off the temperature rise. Technological and scientific advances are part of the solution to real problems. GM foods and pesticides, for example, have hugely increased yields of fruit and vegetables. Nobody has ever died from eating GM foods, or developed cancer from the legal application of pesticides. Banning GM foods and pesticides would reduce yields of fruit and vegetables, making them dearer and diets worse, reducing life expectancy. Britain is not about to run out of hydrocarbons. Clean coal technology, in which Britain was a world leader, was abandoned at privatisation, when the capitalist class closed down so many of our pits. So last year, we produced 28 million tons of coal, but imported 32 million tons. We need to reopen viable mines. We need to reassess the reserves of oil and gas in the North Sea and off the West coast of Scotland. We were self-sufficient in energy until just recently. One projection is that by 2020 we will be relying on imported gas for 80% of our energy needs. We can be self-sufficient again, and we need to be, if we are to be an independent sovereign country. Otherwise we would be subject at any time to pressure or blackmail. Supplies could be switched off at any time should relations with the producer country change. Some see all problems as supranational, requiring supranational solutions, worldwide action through intrusive international agreements like Kyoto, with cartoon cries to 'save the world' through pre-emptive actions. They revive the anarchist slogan 'No states, no borders', mirroring the capitalist agenda of 'global

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