The Politics of Priority Setting in Health: A Political Economy Perspective

The Politics of Priority Setting in Health: A Political Economy Perspective. Center for Global Development. Katharina Hauck and Peter C. Smith. September 3, 2015.

Many health improving interventions in low-income countries are extremely good value for money. So why has it often proven difficult to obtain political backing for highly cost-effective interventions such as vaccinations, treatments against diarrhoeal disease in children, and preventive policies such as improved access to clean water, or policies curtailing tobacco consumption? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages, 30.5 KB].

Worried About China? Keep Calm as Markets Return to Earth

Worried About China? Keep Calm as Markets Return to Earth. YaleGlobal. David Dapice. September 1, 2015.

A long anticipated slowdown in China’s growth prompted a downturn in stock prices and firm government interventions. The percentage of foreign investors in Chinese stocks are low, but the abrupt moves unnerved investors around the globe. Market prices fell in Europe, the United States, Japan and the many countries closely linked to China’s economy. China has long been regarded as the world’s engine of growth, and the volatility signals “a return to a more historically normal and realistic assessment of the risks in the real economy and to stock prices,” writes economist David Dapice. The global economy is not in balance. Many developing countries have relied far too heavily on increasing commodity sales to China. The United States has reverted to savings mode and can’t be counted on for rescue through consumption. Weakened currencies have not led to more growth for Europe, and that could lead to new rounds of currency manipulations and trade barriers from all. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Europe’s New Economic Divide

Europe’s New Economic Divide. YaleGlobal. Chris Miller. August 27, 2015.

Europe still wrestles over how to resolve the debt crisis in Greece. The managing director of the International Monetary Fund warned that Greece’s debt remains unsustainable, and she urged the country’s European partners to prepare to provide significant relief. “Few voters anywhere in Europe are excited about bailing out Greece’s government,” writes Miller. He points to an east-west divide in addition to the north-south one. Countries in Western Europe that provide generous social programs with high ratios of debt to GDP, are generally less critical of Greece, fearing that they, too, might need bailouts someday. The former socialist countries in Eastern Europe like Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia are less wealthy than Greece and less sympathetic. Europe’s politics are becoming divided in more ways than one. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview

Unaccompanied Alien Children: An Overview. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. William A. Kandel and Lisa Seghetti. August 18, 2015.

In FY2014, the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC, unaccompanied children) that were apprehended at the Southwest border while attempting to enter the United States without authorization increased sharply, straining the system put in place over the past decade to handle such cases. In the first 8 months of FY2015, UAC apprehensions numbered 22,869, down 49% from the same period in FY2014. UAC are defined in statute as children who lack lawful immigration status in the United States, who are under the age of 18, and who either are without a parent or legal guardian in the United States or without a parent or legal guardian in the United States who is available to provide care and physical custody.

[PDF format, 21 pages, 744.57 KB].

Medal of Honor: History and Issues

Medal of Honor: History and Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Barbara Salazaar Torreon. August 18, 2015.

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military award for bravery. It is awarded by the President in the name of Congress. For this reason, it is often referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor. Since it was first presented in 1863, the medal has been awarded 3,512 times to 3,493 recipients. Nineteen individuals have been double recipients of the award.

[PDF format, 30 pages, 875.89 KB].

School Meals in Transition

School Meals in Transition. Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Katherine Ralston and Constance Newman. August 20, 2015.

School foodservice programs are adjusting to a complex mix of changes mandated by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. School meal programs are adjusting to stronger nutritional standards, but face challenges in maintaining paid lunch participation to meet revenue goals and to help avoid stigma toward children receiving free or reduced-price food. Summary [PDF format, 2 pages, 159 KB]. Full Report [PDF format, 25 pages, 1.87 MB].

The Future of Forests: Emissions from Tropical Deforestation with and without a Carbon Price, 2016–2050

The Future of Forests: Emissions from Tropical Deforestation with and without a Carbon Price, 2016–2050. Center for Global Development. Jonah Busch and Jens Engelmann. August 24, 2015.

An area of tropical forest the size of India will be deforested in the next 35 years, burning through more than one-sixth of the remaining carbon that can be emitted if global warming is to be kept below 2 degrees Celsius, the “planetary carbon budget”, but many of these emissions could be cheaply avoided by putting a price on carbon, according to the authors. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 42 pages, 885.7 KB].