Copenhagen Consensus

Welfare economics project / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics, using cost–benefit analysis. It was conceived and organized around 2004 by Bjørn Lomborg,[1] the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the then director of the Danish government's Environmental Assessment Institute.

The project is run by the Copenhagen Consensus Center,[2] which is directed by Lomborg and was part of the Copenhagen Business School, but it is now an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation registered in the USA. The project considers possible solutions to a wide range of problems, presented by experts in each field. These are evaluated and ranked by a panel of economists. The emphasis is on rational prioritization by economic analysis. The panel is given an arbitrary budget constraint and instructed to use cost–benefit analysis to focus on a bottom line approach in solving/ranking presented problems. The approach is justified as a corrective to standard practice in international development, where, it is alleged, media attention and the "court of public opinion" results in priorities that are often far from optimal.