We’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our readers a Happy Holiday and hope that everyone is enjoying the season. We will be back to our normal publication schedule on Monday with a piece reviewing the recent climate negotiations in Lima, written by professor Robert Stavins. In the meantime, enjoy the holiday and take the opportunity to catch up on our coverage of our special editorial focus areas!
Sustainable Cities: 2012 marked the first time in human history a majority of the world’s population lived in urban areas. Cities can be major drivers of economic growth and human development, and because city governments are often more politically flexible than national or international institutions, they can also act as laboratories for social innovation. But they can at the same time be centers of disease outbreaks and poverty traps. How successfully cities are able to generate sustainable solutions to their challenges will determine development outcomes for billions of the world’s population.
Economics of Climate Change: Climate change is happening. That is science’s unequivocal conclusion. But what should be done about it is a much more difficult question and the domain, at least in part, of economics. Determining the costs of inaction and the benefits of action to avoid, mitigate and adapt to climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the economics profession today. The results of this cost-benefit calculation will shape the policy that dictates how the world responds to the preeminent policy challenge of our time.
East Asia: East Asia is the most densely populated region on the planet. With that comes growing economic clout but also significant development challenges. Successful achievement of sustainability goals in East Asia will impact more lives than action in the rest of the world combined. Because of this the actions of this region are important not only as examples for the rest of the world but also as the largest scale sustainable development actions in the world.
Health & Development: The correlation between access to first-rate healthcare and least developed countries is striking. That correlation is more than superficial. Causality runs in both directions: poor health leads to poverty by constraining the ability to work while simultaneously requiring expensive treatment. But poverty limits access to expensive care and therefore leads to poor health. All of this is exacerbated in countries without strong healthcare institutions. As a result, fighting poverty is as much about providing healthcare opportunities as it is about providing economic opportunities.