Solutions for the World's Biggest Problems: Costs and Benefits

Solutions for the World's Biggest Problems: Costs and Benefits

Language: English

Pages: 462

ISBN: 0521715970

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The world has many pressing problems. Thanks to the efforts of governments, NGOs, and individual activists there is no shortage of ideas for resolving them. However, even if all governments were willing to spend more money on solving the problems, we cannot do it all at once. We have to prioritize; and in order to do this we need a better sense of the costs and benefits of each 'solution'. This book offers a rigorous overview of twenty-three of the world's biggest problems relating to the environment, governance, economics, and health and population. Leading economists provide a short survey of the analysis and sketch out policy solutions for which they provide cost-benefit ratios. A unique feature is the provision of freely downloadable software which allows readers to make their own cost-benefit calculations for spending money to make the world a better place.

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authorities find it efficient to ask the banks to collaborate in producing these. The more effective the collaboration is, the lower the ML risk will be, while for crooked intermediaries the central theme is deterrence. The effectiveness of regulation thus depends on the ability to influence the interest alignment. The possibility that regulation generates counterproductive effects dependent on the degree to which it is accepted by the regulated intermediaries is a general phenomenon, given the

marketoriented economic policies to have effect, at least two criteria beyond well-functioning markets and well-defined property rights are required (Fukuyama 2002). First, a country must have institutions within which policy change can occur. Second, public economic policies can only be carried out by the state. However, the state must be able to enforce the rule of law, be competent and sufficiently transparent in formulating policy, and with enough legitimacy to be able to make painful

978-0-521-88772-4 hardback 0-521-88772-0 ISBN-13 ISBN-10 paperback 978-0-521-71597-3 paperback 0-521-71597-0 Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urls for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Contents List of figures List of tables page viii x List of contributors xiii Acknowledgements xviii

service is excludable but non-rival, and an open access good or service is rival but non-excludable. A public good or service is neither rival nor excludable. 162 The Economics of Biodiversity Loss 163 What is being lost? As implicit in the breadth of its definition, measuring biodiversity is complex and there is a lack of widely accepted and adequate biodiversity indicators. This knowledge gap generates a wide range of estimates of what and how much is being lost. The available proxy

$1.7tn. The regulation would come at considerable cost, because it would reduce the efficiency of the banking sector. But even taking this into account, the benefits outweigh the costs by 3 to 1. Limiting the scope for criminal activity would greatly reduce the misery and financial loss for victims of crime and terror. Kym Anderson (University of Adelaide and World Bank) builds on his contribution to the 2004 Copenhagen Consensus in his chapter on “Subsidies and Trade Barriers”. Anderson focuses on

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