According to this report from David Roodman, deaths of young childs could lead to additional births:
- "Looking within families in Uttar Pradesh in the decades up to 1999, a context in which fertility was high but had begun to fall, Bhalotra and van Soest 2008 finds partial replacement, with 0.37–0.52 extra births for each neonatal death".
Consequently, the cost-effectiveness of GiveWell top life-saving charities (e.g. in multiples of cash transfers) could be smaller under total utilitarianism (as has been discussed here). For example, the cost-effectiveness would be about 50 % lower for the above estimate of the replacement effect (neglecting longterm effects).
What is the cost-effectiveness of GiveWell top life-saving charities in terms of total additional years of healthy life per dollar? How different from 0.01 year/$?
Estimated as follows:
- GiveWell top life-saving charities avert one death for about 4.5 k$.
- According to this post from Open Philanthropy, "GiveWell uses moral weights for child deaths that would be consistent with assuming 51 years of foregone life in the DALY framework (though that is not how they reach the conclusion)".
- Consequently, the cost-effectiveness of GiveWell top life-saving charities is 51 DALY / 4.5 k$ = 0.01 DALY/$.
This isn't an answer to the question, but two additional considerations I think you're missing that point the opposite direction and I think would make AMF look even better than GiveWell counts it as, on the total view:
I haven't seen any concerted public attempts to grapple with these factors or to think about how to bound the considerations in #2 in a way that would lead to a numerical answer to your question. I would be curious if people have other references to point to on this.
Thanks for the feedback! Some thoughts:
Agree that the paper leaves open the ultimate impact on completed fertility and on your #3. On #2 - I think it would be a mistake to try to adjust for this and neglect long run effects, as in your estimate in fn1.
I agree, and have adjusted the text and footnote accordingly.
Carl Shulman has discussed the Flow-through effects of saving a life through the ages on life-years lived.