The economic costs of Indonesia’s 2015 forest fires are estimated to exceed US $16 billion, with more than 100,000 premature deaths. On several days the fires emitted more carbon dioxide than the entire United States economy. Here, we combine detailed geospatial data on fire and local climatic conditions with rich administrative data to assess the underlying causes of Indonesia’s forest fires at district and village scales. We find that El Niño events explain most of the year-on-year variation in fire.
The Program on Democracy and the Internet runs the work of the Kofi Annan Commission on Elections and Democracy in the Digital Age which will produce guidelines to support democracies, particularly those of the global south.
We find that rapid worker turnover significantly disrupts the productivity of responsive manufacturers. Our study uses a uniquely rich dataset drawn from China-based FATP (final assembly, testing, and packaging) facilities that produce millions of units of consumer electronic goods weekly yet exhibit high worker turnover exceeding 300% annually. The data cover the firm's weekly production plans, 52,214 workers' compensations and assignments, and assembly station productivity. To study managerial prescriptions, we extend the classical production planning problem to include endogenous worker turnover as an Experience-Based Equilibrium and use advances in reinforcement learning and approximate dynamic programming to estimate and simulate our model. Our empirical analyses exploit instrumental variables, including the firm's demand forecasts as demand shifters". We find that turnover's impact on yield waste is conservatively $146-178M, and that a well-calibrated wage increase reduces the manufacturer's variable production costs (including wages) by up to 21%, or $594M for the product we study. The wage increase reduces the firm's reliance on a larger workforce and overtime to hedge against yield disruptions from turnover; it stabilizes a leaner workforce and improves both production reliability and exibility. In settings where performance depends on workers repeating known tasks in coordinated groups, our results suggest that firms responsively matching supply to demand can pay a steep price for a disruptively turnover-prone workforce.
As the global population and people’s incomes rise, the demand for ocean-derived food will continue to grow. At the same time, hunger and malnutrition continues to be a challenge in many countries, particularly in rural or developing areas. Looking to the ocean as a source of protein produced using low-carbon methodologies will be critical for food security, nutrition and economic stability, especially in coastal countries where hunger and malnutrition are a challenge.
In the 2019 fourth quarter edition of the Milken Institute Review, Asia Health Policy Program director Karen Eggleston discusses the progress China has made since the 2009 reforms to its healthcare, which brought basic coverage to all and reduced patients' share of costs, and explains the many challenges that remain, including increasing the system's efficiency to ensure its sustainability and addressing the disparities in healthcare that echo the "yawning gap in living standards between China's rising middle class and its poorest citizens."
In the new eBook Live Long and Prosper? The Economics of Ageing Populations, Asia Health Policy Program director Karen Eggleston, in her chapter on "Understanding 'Value for Money' in Healthy Ageing," discusses the imperative of using "value for money" as a metric for policymakers to assess and improve healthcare, in the context of aging populations and rapidly rising healthcare costs worldwide.
The goal of sex and gender analysis is to promote rigorous, reproducible and responsible science. Incorporating sex and gender analysis into experimental design has enabled advancements across many disciplines, such as improved treatment of heart disease and insights into the societal impact of algorithmic bias. Here we discuss the potential for sex and gender analysis to foster scientific discovery, improve experimental efficiency and enable social equality.
This paper examines the effects of China’s New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) on medical expenditure. Utilizing the quasi-random rollout of the NCMS for a difference-in-difference analysis, we find that the NCMS increased medical expenditure by 12.3%. Most significantly, the good-health group witnessed a 22.1% rise in medical expenditure, and the high-income group saw a rise of 20.6%. The effects, however, were not significant among the poor-health or low-income groups. The findings are suggestive of the need for more help for the very poor and less healthy.
When China's government announced its ambitions for the country’s theoretical, technological, and applied artificial intelligence development to reach a “worldleading level” by 2030, governments and markets worldwide took notice. So did DigiChina. The New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan (AIDP), drafed by experts across China’s bureaucracy and issued by the State Council in July 2017, was one of this nascent project's first major translations.
Understanding the determinants of agricultural productivity requires accurate measurement of crop output and yield. In smallholder production systems across low- and middle-income countries, crop yields have traditionally been assessed based on farmer-reported production and land areas in household/farm surveys, occasionally by objective crop cuts for a sub-section of a farmer’s plot, and rarely using full-plot harvests. In parallel, satellite data continue to improve in terms of spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution needed to discern performance on smallholder plots.
Previous literature suggests subpar teaching is a primary reason why rural Chinese students lag behind academically. We initiate an investigation into the potential of educational technology (EdTech) to increase teaching quality in rural China. First, we discuss why conventional approaches of improving teaching in remote schools are infeasible in China’s context, referring to past research. We then explore the capacity of technology-assisted instruction to improve academic performance by examining previous empirical analyses. Third, we show that China is not limited by the resource constraints of other developing countries due to substantial policy support and a thriving EdTech industry. Finally, we identify potential implementation-related challenges based on the results of a preliminary qualitative survey of pilots of EdTech interventions. With this paper, we lay the foundation for a long-term research investigation into whether EdTech can narrow China’s education gap.
China’s national health reforms over the past two decades have brought the system closer to the modern, safe, reliable and accessible health system that is commensurate with China’s dramatic economic growth, improvement in living standards, and high hopes for the next generation.
The current regulatory and legislative infrastructure is poorly suited to address the new challenges to U.S. leadership and innovation in key technology sectors. This paper uses the semiconductor industry as a case study to advance a proposal for a strategic approach to technology policy capable of enabling long-term leadership. This proposal, rooted in structural changes to the federal technology policymaking process, would allow the United States to respond more effectively to strategic technology policymaking of China and other rising economic competitors.
The failure of mainstream political-party competition fueled the rise of populism in Europe. Popular anxieties about immigration, economics, or cultural change are not sufficient to explain the surge in populist support. Mainstream parties on both the center-left and the center-right have failed to represent constituencies, to articulate their needs, and to propose distinct policy solutions. The center-left has abandoned its traditional social-policy commitments, and the center-right has often failed to contain xenophobes and nativists.
By May 1966, just seventeen years after its founding, the People’s Republic of China had become one of the most powerfully centralized states in modern history. But that summer everything changed. Mao Zedong called for students to attack intellectuals and officials who allegedly lacked commitment to revolutionary principles. Rebels responded by toppling local governments across the country, ushering in nearly two years of conflict that in places came close to civil war and resulted in nearly 1.6 million dead.
Feeding a growing population while reducing negative environmental impacts is one of the greatest challenges of the coming decades. We show that microsatellite data can be used to detect the impact of sustainable intensification interventions at large scales and to target the fields that would benefit the most, thereby doubling yield gains.