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Are Generous People Likely to Live Longer?

Volunteers lifting framed wall at construction site. Photo: Roberto Westbrook, Getty Images.

East-West Center Adjunct Senior Fellow  Ronald Lee and two colleagues recently published findings in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) suggesting that people who share more of their wealth live longer. The international team analyzed swaths of data from the National Transfer Accounts: Understanding the Generational Economy project. They found a strong relationship between a society's generosity and the average life expectancy of its members. "Findings from 34 countries on six continents suggest that survival is higher in societies that provide more support and care for one another," the authors write. "We suggest that this support reduces mortality by meeting urgent material needs, but also that sharing generosity may reflect the strength of social connectedness, which itself benefits human health and well-being and indirectly raises survival." Lee's and his colleagues' findings have been reported in 42 news articles around the world, including in Psychology Today, ScienceDaily, Aljazeera, and MarthaStewart.com.

 


East-West Center Disease Specialist Warns Hawaiʻi Residents: ‘This is Not the Time to Take Chances’

After stayiing at low levels through mid-July, COVID-19 cases in Hawaii spiked dramatically: Daily cases vs. daily averages, 9 March–9 August 2020.

Tim Brown, an internationally renowned epidemic tracking expert at the East-West Center, has a stark message for Hawai‘i residents.

“If you're thinking of going out to eat, don’t,” Brown warns. “If you think you're safe at a gym, you aren’t. If you're getting together with those from other households, including extended family, without full masking and distancing, remember you are taking on the risk of everyone they have been exposed to in the last two weeks. The bottom line is that it is not safe out there, and this is not the time to take chances.”

 


Fire and Rain: The Legacy of Hurricane Lane in Hawai'i

In 2018, Hurricane Lane brought an unprecedented combination of flooding and wildfires in Hawai'i. A recent East-West Wire, co-authored by EWC researcher Ryan Longman, looks at the climate and weather conditions that led to the storm and the physical and economic damage that resulted. The Wire is based on a study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society,

In August 2018, Hurricane Lane brought an average of 17 inches of rainfall to the big Island of Hawaii plus grass fires to Oahu and Maui. Photo: Mario Tame/Getty Images.

Over a four-day period, Hawaiʻi Island received an average of 17 inches of rainfall, with a four-day single-station maximum of 57 inches, making Hurricane Lane the wettest hurricane ever recorded in Hawaiʻi and the second wettest ever recorded anywhere in the United States.

“In this study, we document what we believe to be the first instance of a hurricane causing both heavy rainfall and contributing to multiple instances of fire simultaneously,” said Alison Nugent, lead author of the study and assistant professor of Atmospheric Sciences in UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). A better understanding of the causes and outcomes of Hurricane Lane can help the community improve planning for future seasons.


Challenges and Responses to COVID-19: Experience from Asia

By Nancy Davis Lewis and Jonathan D. Mayer

A South Korean voter in mask and gloves casts her ballot in mid-April parliamentary elections. President Moon Jae-In’s strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic helped his Liberal Democratic Party score a resounding victory. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images.

Experience in Asia suggests that public health and medical capacity are critical for an effective response to an emerging infectious disease, and political will and previous experience with disease outbreaks also play a role. Singapore ignored an important segment of its population and is now experiencing a huge spike in cases. China and Vietnam were able to enforce draconian measures, while in Japan and Hong Kong, civil society had a greater role in initiating effective controls. In several countries, local political outcomes have been affected by the perceived success or failure of leaders in controlling the crisis.


Impact of COVID-19 on Rice Farmers in Southeast Asia

By Jefferson M. Fox, Arunee Promkhambut, and Phanwin Yokying

A farmer harvests rice in Ban San Ka Wan, Thailand. Photo: Taylor Weidman/Getty Images.

In Southeast Asia, COVID 19 has affected rice farming in many ways including security of land tenure and access to credit, capital inputs, remittance income, and safe food and water. During emergencies such as the 2019 drought and the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers need assistance, either from the government or private philanthropy. Thailand and Vietnam, the wealthier countries in the region, have provided farmers with basic assistance. Farmers in Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia are struggling.

 

 

 

 


 

Count Your Care with a New Web App from the Counting Women’s Work Project

As the coronavirus pandemic widens, the need for unpaid care work is undeniable.

How do you spend your time on a typical day? Most of us know how much time we spend at paid jobs, but how much unpaid care work are we also doing? The Counting Women’s Work project answers this question for many countries across the globe. During the coronavirus pandemic, the unpaid care work that is most often provided by women will inevitably increase. We are caring for the sick at home. We are bringing food and supplies to quarantined neighbors. Millions of us are stepping into the role of teacher as schools close. Housework may be increasing also. Click COUNT MY WORK to try our online app and see how much time YOU spend in unpaid care work compared to people in many countries around the world. Share your results on social media and let us know how your unpaid care work is changing.

Counting Women's Work (CWW) is an international research project dedicated to measuring the unpaid care work that is most often provided by women. CWW is a project within the National Transfer Accounts research network, which is coordinated by the Economics and Demography of Aging (CEDA), University of California at Berkeley and the East-West Center (EWC) in Honolulu.


The East-West Center Research Program brings a cross-disciplinary approach to understanding the process of rapid transformation that is occurring in Asia and the Pacific. The Center’s collaborative research and capacity-building program aims to promote sustainability, prosperity, equity, and peace in the region.

Current research documents how economic, environmental, social, and political change are shaping Asia and the Pacific. Research focuses on changes in climate, land and water use, health, family dynamics, economic roles, and international politics.

As a boundary organization, the Center's Research Program works with research and policy communities in the US and the Indo-Pacific region to provide more complete knowledge and deeper understanding of environments, societies, economies, governments, and international relations in the region. Capacity building and research to support decision-making are conducted in close collaboration with networks of individuals and institutions throughout Asia and the Pacific and is shared broadly with planners, policymakers, regional specialists, the media, and the general public.

 


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East-West Wire

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East-West Center researchers are studying changes in climate, land and water use, health, family dynamics, economic roles, and international politics in the Indo-Pacific region.
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East-West Center authors publish analysis, commentary, and research findings in books, reports, and articles in magazines and scholarly journals.
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East-West Wires produced by the Research Program are two-page summaries on a wide range of topics. They are published as part of a news, commentary, and analysis service provided by the East-West Center.