Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Congratulations, Arvind Subramanian

This morning (Thursday) came the news that Arvind Subramanian, a joint fellow at CGD and at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, is being appointed Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India. This appointment (for our American readers), is more or less equivalent to being the head of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisors. The current Chief Economist of the World Bank, Kaushik Basu, is a former CEA in India, and the current head of India’s Reserve Bank, Raghuram Rajan is a former CEA. (In Arvind’s case, I dearly hope he will be back at CGD—and yes PIIE—here in Washington within a few years.)

How the United States Can Lose Influence in Asia in 4 Easy Steps

Step One

Unilaterally seek to push Asia’s largest economy out of the Asian Development Bank’s club of borrowers. Never mind that China’s “graduation” from the ADB would weaken the institution financially and sever an important channel of influence and dialogue with Chinese officials.

A Tale of Two Rainstorms: The Science of Tropical Forests

Imagine a heavy rainstorm, typical in the wet tropics, falling on an intact hillside forest. The forest’s many levels of leaves and branches act like stacked umbrellas, softening the impact of the intense rain. Trees, shrubs, vines, mosses, and litter shield the soil from the direct impact of the rainfall, while roots act like underground nets holding the soil in place. After the storm has ended, roots and animal burrows transport the fallen water into the earth. At the same time trees pump water back into the sky as clouds, cooling the air and sending moisture downwind. Water also runs off overland feeding streams and rivers.

Finding a Cure for Ebola

The priority for policymakers concerned about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa should be to respond to the existing outbreak, treat the victims, and contain its spread. But the longer term lesson is that we need to be willing to spend more on global health.

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