brb243's Comments

An Effective Altruist "Civic Handbook" for the USA (draft, calling for comments and assistance)

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

1) Both farmers and consumers (who may overlap) could benefit if food aid of advanced economies was purchased locally.

2) Vulnerability to price spikes could be addressed by improved resilience of local crops to weather and by better local storage practices.

3) A developing country with majority subsistence population should invest into rural development so that farmers can first feed themselves securely and second engage in trade of their surpluses as well as diversify their production from just agriculture.

A Local Community Course That Raises Mental Wellbeing and Pro-Sociality

I am just thinking if this course does not perpetuate the problem of those from advanced economies taking care of their close ones while leaving those in developing economies further behind, unattended to.

Then, students of this course would feel great about making differences that are net-negative, considering the opportunity cost of not aiding more distant people much more cost-effectively (viz the amount it takes (few hundred USD) to change one's life through GD).

I acknowledge that helping the world is briefly mentioned at the end, but overall, this course much more advocates for local involvement. Thus, unless this course is run in 'globally diverse' groups, it may not improve the world structures toward greater inclusion and generosity very effectively. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Coronavirus: how much is a life worth?

Hm. It may be both - the opportunity cost (if one loses one QALY, they lose some percentage of annual income) and the value it costs to extend life for one QALY (e. g. through vaccine or micronutrient supplementation).

I actually dread it is the opportunity cost only, to which healthcare intervention costs are compared. For example, if an additional farmer contributes only $3 per year, because their work can be done by family members, then a global health organization will not support that farmer's health if it costs more than $3 per QALY.

Lant Pritchett's "smell test": is your impact evaluation asking questions that matter?

I guess that for the last column, this cannot be proven - too many variables can influence economic development so that one cannot be isolated controlling for all others.

For column 1, I guess scholarships, contract teachers, irrigation, performance pay, if any.

For column 2, perhaps similar to guess in column 1, plus why would we test these areas in developed, as opposed to developing, economies? Findings from developed economies may not be generalizable to developing countries.

For column 3, I guess the finance- and tech-related areas.

Plus, the working link is here.

Findings on page 27 are shocking, speak for bed nets (they help with malaria), conditional and unconditional cash transfers (help with schooling), micronutrients should help with diarrhea and anemia. Otherwise not much impact can be proven. I guess an argument for AMF and GD.

Coronavirus: how much is a life worth?


Yeah, the value of QALY is about 100% of GDP per capita in an advanced economy (Huang et al.) and 1%-59% in developing countries (Woods et al.).

Woods thus implies one can purchase quality lives in some of the poorest economies for as little as $3 per QALY * 60 years of life = $180.

Valuing all persons equally, this is such a great deal?

An Effective Altruist "Civic Handbook" for the USA (draft, calling for comments and assistance)

Thanks! This is interesting. I studied lobbying in my MA program in Washington, DC.

1. Could you please embolden (make bold) parts (in every paragraph or once in few paragraphs) that you find particularly important? This would help readers to orient themselves in the text better and skim more easily.

2. I submitted some comments - can you see them? Please let me know what you think about them.

Effective Altruism and International Trade

Maybe, more than education by itself, you then value empowerment, equality, dignity, respect, lack of abuse, one's ability to have a perspective which is valued, one's ability to be considered as opposed to used, one's ability to live for oneself as opposed to be forced to live for others, and an environment which is cooperative as opposed to abusive alongside the lines of characteristics assigned to an individual by society (at birth). Education is just means for achieving these goals.

Effective Altruism and International Trade

Thanks for the article!!

I think that everyone will be right if LAYS (the unit of quality education provided) is linked to QALYs (the unit of quality life years provided).

Please submit a request to the World Bank (which developed LAYS) and the UK Medical Research Council (which aims to improve the QALY measure).

Effective Altruism and International Trade

I think what would really resolve your debate would be associating a quality of life measure to education outcomes as well as to time spent in school. See Whitehead and Ali on assigning health-related quality of life (HRQoL) value to different health outcomes.

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