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The economic benefits of attending the G-8 summit

After Russia's upper parliament approved military action in Ukraine Obama and other leaders have suspended plans to attend a G8 summit in Russia as a response.

The future of the G-8 is in question, as seven of its eight members meet in the Netherlands. Russia, which annexed Crimea last week, didn't get an invite.

According to Ian Hurd, an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University, Russia could lose its permanent membership.  

"I think there is a lot of value in symbolic terms to having a seat at the table," Hurd says.

But Eswar Prasad, a professor of international economics at Cornell University, says the G-8's influence has waned, and the G-20, which includes emerging economies, has become more important. There's an irony here, he says.

"This particular grouping takes on more significance when it excludes somebody," Prasad says, "rather than when it includes somebody."

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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