The Goal of the Project
The goal of the Copenhagen Consensus project was to set priorities among a series of proposals for confronting ten great global challenges. These challenges, selected from a wider set of issues identified by the United Nations, were: climate change; communicable diseases; conflicts and arms proliferation; access to education; financial instability; governance and corruption; malnutrition and hunger; migration; sanitation and access to clean water; and subsidies and trade barriers.
A panel of economic experts, comprising eight of the world's most distinguished economists, was invited to consider these issues. The members were Jagdish N. Bhagwati of Columbia University, Robert S. Fogel of the University of Chicago (Nobel Laureate), Bruno S. Frey of the University of Zurich, Justin Yifu Lin of Peking University, Douglass C. North of Washington University in St Louis (Nobel Laureate), Thomas Schelling of the University of Maryland, Vernon L. Smith of George Mason University (Nobel Laureate) and Nancy Stokey of the University of Chicago.
The panel was asked to address the ten challenge areas and to answer the question: ‘What would be the best ways of advancing global welfare, and particularly the welfare of developing countries, supposing that an additional $50 bn of resources were at governments' disposal?' Ten challenge papers (chapters 1–10 in this volume), commissioned from acknowledged authorities in each area of policy, set out more than thirty proposals for the panel's consideration. During the conference, the panel examined these proposals in detail.