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Browse and download all Copenhagen Consensus academic papers grouped by subject.

Climate Change & Energy

Climate change is real and man-made. It will come as a big surprise that climate change from 1900 to 2025 has mostly been a net benefit, rising to increase welfare about 1.5% GDP per year.

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Conflicts and Terrorism

War has a heavy economic and human cost. Not a single low-income country afflicted by violence has achieved even one of the eight Millennium Development goals.

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Education

Over the past 50 years, remarkable progress has been made ensuring that children receive basic education. More than sixty percent of adults in low-income countries can read and write, whereas in 1962, just one-third were literate.

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Environment

Environmental issues remain at the forefront of our research. Air pollution affects millions, especially in the developing world. And preserving biodiversity carries many economic benefits itself.

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Finance and Economy

Financial instability can have significant effects on economic growth. It afflicts primarily countries in the process of economic development, which are vulnerable to instability and unable to cope with the consequences as smoothly as more economically advanced economies.

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Governance

Today, more countries than ever boast democratic constitutions, functioning bureaucracies and professional judiciaries. However, operation is patchy. Some institutions in some countries are at least as good as those in wealthier states; others are plagued by corruption and waste.

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Health

Humans have made great strides in healthcare. Advances are so rapid that for every month you live, medical science adds a week to your life expectancy. However, eighty percent of global deaths from heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic diseases occur in low-income and middle-income countries.

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Hunger and Malnutrition

The planet creates more than enough food to meet everyone's needs. But there are still about 925 million hungry people in the world, and nearly 180 million preschool-age children do not get vital nutrients.

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Inequality

Over the past three decades gender issues have increasingly gained prominence on the development agenda. More attention is being given to the plight of poor and disadvantaged women in developing countries, and to the unfinished gender agenda in more developed countries.

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Infrastructure

Access to basic infrastructure services – roads, ports, electricity, water and sanitation – still remains a key challenge in the fight against poverty and the search for sustainable growth in many regions.

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Natural Disasters

Even the most wealth and well prepared countries can experience large-scale damage and destruction when natural disasters strike. The situation is much worse in low-income countries since they often do not have the financial means to protect their population and economy against catastrophes.

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Population Growth

Current ‘high fertility’ countries account currently for about 38% of the 78 million persons that are added annually to the world population, despite composing only 18% of the current population. After 2060, world population is projected to grow exclusively as a result of growth in current high fertility countries.

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Technology & Data

Technology underpins modern society. Rich countries spend considerable amounts on R&D and this enables a flow of innovation and greater productivity. However, low-income countries, not surprisingly, spend very little and developing countries even less, creating a discrepancy in access to technologies, innovation and productivity. The collection of data on the other hand, has often been an afterthought in regard to development programs and policies. Although well intentioned, policies need to also be well aimed and this includes the measurement of monitoring of such policies.

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Trade and Migration

For most of human history, migration has been constrained by physical barriers and transport difficulties rather than government action. More recently, sharply different rates of growth across the world have combined to make many workers from poorer countries eager to move to countries where wages are higher.

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Water & Sanitation

An astonishing one-third of the world population, 2.5 billion people, lack access to basic sanitation, and over one billion people defecate out in the open. Water and sanitation issues still cause 6–7% of deaths in developing countries.

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