All of brb243's Comments + Replies

We're Lincoln Quirk & Ben Kuhn from Wave, AMA!

Hello Ben,

I have a question about your cost competitiveness and scale, a hypothesis about your counterfactual impact, and additional questions.

Are the fees lower than those of other providers, such as MoneyGram? The last time I checked, the total for a $100 transfer was lower for MoneyGram. The difference should be greater with larger transfers since Wave charges a percentage whereas MoneyGram a flat fee.

I may be mistaken, and it may depend on the country, but I never saw Wave in Kenya. I saw Western Union and MoneyGram frequently at banks and elsewhere. I... (read more)

Major UN report discusses existential risk and future generations (summary)

(Sidenote) Is the "inflection point in history" (p. 3) both from convex to concave and vice versa since humanitarian and environmental progress can be measured in addition to GDP (p. 4)?

Informing the "Emergency Platform to respond to complex global crises" (p. 65, para. 101) could be valuable. What are the requests? Develop skills to respond to crises that are impossible to prevent since funding by a multilateral system can be agreed upon?

What are the investments into "resilience and prevention" (p. 55, para. 77) constrained by? Is this decisionmaking of l... (read more)

Digital People Would Be An Even Bigger Deal

That is so cool! It seems that humankind has a real near-future potential to expand intragalactically.

I am wondering how digital people would be differentiated from digital things. For example, I can imagine that people would want their taxes to be done by robots or enjoy cruelty-free burgers. How would national quotas play into that?

What are some historical examples of people and organizations who've influenced people to do more good?

Is this a random yet captivating and intellectually sounding text automatic generator test?

Effective Giving Advocacy Challenge

For sure, if you want to get a bit serious about this, please join the EA Lobbying Discussion next Thursday (November 5, 2020) at 5pm UK time at meet.google.com/zoh-bhbf-ajv. We should have an overview of negotiation basics and policy advocacy insights from two government officials. Maximize your leverage by institutionalizing a 'giving' policy.

Data Analysis Involvement Opportunity (~10 hours)

Hi! This one should be taken care of. I can let you know about other opps.

Effective Altruism is a Question (not an ideology)

But I am an Effective Altruist, Helen -- 😓 By definition, as a member of the Effective Altruism community, no matter what I do or what I ask. Of course, engaging with the movement, I am more likely to expand my moral circles, gain knowledge and motivation to do great, et cetera, just like the other Effective Altruists. Held accountable by the institution itself, I enter, remain, or exit freely.

A counterfactual QALY for USD 2.60–28.94?

Hello!

I found the dataset that I thought I saw before: the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017) Disability Weights. Disability weights are the changes of Health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) due to a condition. I re-ran the calculations and found the cost-effectiveness of the mobile clinics project as 26.63 USD/QALY, with a low estimate of 184.14 USD/QALY and high estimate of 6.33 USD/QALY. I used the same data to estimate the cost-effectiveness of AMF and found 56.07 USD/QALY (low 112.14 and h... (read more)

Data Analysis Involvement Opportunity (~10 hours)

OK. I can see it on and download it from Google Drive. Perhaps this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fve0AA56HRPZF2U1_cJ0Jrqj1JPfojba/view?usp=sharing

?

I can also send via e-mail, feel free to message.

Guidelines on depicting poverty

When one is portraying reality accurately (people living on standards far below those of advanced economies), there may seem to be no problem (people living peacefully on the fields or in slums, disabled people asking for funds, sick persons resting at home). It is just the reality; these people are just a part of the picture. They are accepted by the society, although perhaps not as much catered to.

I am actually thinking that both portraying someone's negative emotional appeal (that does not allow the addressee to reject donating to the acceptance an... (read more)

Denise_Melchin's Shortform

I think that thinking about longtermism enables people to feel empowered to solve problems somewhat beyond the reality, truly feeling the prestige/privilege/knowing-better of 'doing the most good'- also, this may be a viewpoint applicable for those who really do not have to worry about finances, but also that is relative. Which also links to my second point that some affluent persons enjoy speaking about innovative solutions, reflecting current power structures defined by high-technology, among others. It would be otherwise hard to make a communi... (read more)

A counterfactual QALY for USD 2.60–28.94?

Hello. I apologize for the late reply. I was moving over the weekend. I am looking at the IHME DALY by cause data (my calculations here) but these do not seem to take into account the long-term effects of the diseases. For example, deworming and vitamin A supplementation may have positive long-term effects in terms of schooling and economic gains that may far outweigh the direct short-term QALY losses. From there the upper estimate of 5. Simple malaria I would presume one that does not require immediate medical attention but one that still may result in ... (read more)

A counterfactual QALY for USD 2.60–28.94?

The diagnosis numbers are data of the past ~5 months of the project scaled up to 6 months (×208/154 (clinic-weeks)). REO records data on all diagnoses (by week) and the provided are the sums.

For the QALY estimates, I used my best judgment, also based on the potential decrease of the Health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) multiplied by the years lived with the (consequences of the) condition (equivalent Years Lost due to Disability) and on the potential Years of Live Lost. For example, for the mild condition treatments, deworming or vitamin A supplem... (read more)

5Derek1yI'm sure there are many giving opportunities in global health that are better than the GiveWell top charities, and I'm pleased to see promising small or medium-sized projects like this being brought to the attention of EAs. However, I think you should try to get better estimates of QALYs gained (or DALYs averted)—especially if you're going to feature the cost-effectiveness ratio so prominently in your write-up. This should be possible by referring to the relevant literature. The current estimates don't seem all that plausible to me, e.g. an episode of "simple malaria" (by which you presumably mean there are no other complications like anaemia) tends to last a few weeks or less, so even if it could be immediately cured at the beginning, it wouldn't reach your lower estimate of 0.1 QALYs, let alone the upper of 5 QALYs. For life-threatening conditions, I don't think you should have the theoretical maximum of "save all lives" as the upper estimate, as that wouldn't happen in any context, and certainly not this one. If you must rely on your intuitive guesstimates, perhaps you should use 90% or 95% credible intervals. Good luck with the project!
Should we create an EA index?

Perhaps just randomly: the Trade for Sustainable Development scoring of the International Trade Centre includes a list of companies implementing 14 certifiable voluntary sustainability standards. According to some trade experts, the cost of certification is often the bigger hindrance the smaller the company is. Also, the profits of a sustainable enterprise may go to the middle-income managers as opposed to the low-skilled workers (one research).

Also, Resonance works on impact investing. I do not believe that they focus on reporting/scoring but could be a v... (read more)

Informational Lobbying: Theory and Effectiveness

Hello. I studied lobbying in DC during my MA in International Trade and Economic Diplomacy. I also tried to estimate the cost-effectiveness of lobbying per QALY - and came up with $280 per quality life (or about $4.7/QALY) (p. 3) or the first draft on the EA Forum.

I think that EA Brazil and some others are working on starting an EA lobbying group. I dm'd you regarding this.

Investing to Save Lives

(reference to a Nigerian social impact bond here) "Investors can opt to purchase Babban Gona’s Raise Out of Poverty bond (ROPO). ROPO is Nigeria’s first social impact bond that enables investors attain a reasonable return on their investment" I wonder if social impact bonds have been considered by EA - or, if these are not where EA has comparative advantage, at least static.

Perhaps social impact bonds create additional impact for every bond purchased - room for investment is limited only by the capacity of persons to increase their ... (read more)

Sample size and clustering advice needed

Hello Sindy,

Thank you so much. This answers my question. Yes, there will be a before and after qualitative survey asking about own and others' behavior - which may need to be truncated to speak with more different groups. Then, the face covering data can be used to complement the survey information.

Sample size and clustering advice needed

Thank you. I was not able to get (a pdf of) Field Experiments, but downloaded the "Field Experimental Designs for the Study of Media Effects," also co-authored by Green. They point out "robust cluster standard errors" to estimate "individual-level average treatment effect" (172).

To answer your points:

  • The smallest effect size you would hope to observe
    • 20%. From 5/10 to 6/10 or equivalent % increase
  • Your available resources
    • Researchers in all of the campaign clusters and some of the non-campaign ones. They can count whether e. g.
... (read more)
4Matt_Lerner1yI refer you to Sindy's comment (she is actually an expert) but I want to note and verify that it sounds as if you may not actually be thinking of collecting individual-level data, and that you're thinking of making observations at the village level (e.g. what % of people in this village wear masks?). So it's not just the case that you wouldn't have enough clusters to make a statistical claim, but you may actually be talking about doing an experiment in which the units are villages... so n = 6 to 12. Then of course you'd have considerable error in the village-level estimate, and uncertainty about the representativeness about the sample within each village. I agree with Sindy that you probably don't want an RCT here.
Is region-level cause prioritization research valuable to spot promising long-term priority causes worldwide?

What about the Cameroonian Civil War that (or at least of which effects) can be mitigated by a combination of EA and local knowledge? This can be a potentially high-impact problem/intervention that has not been covered by other EA research, perhaps due to its localized nature.

5Prabhat Soni1yYes, I completely agree. In fact, most wars would probably require local-level knowledge and need to be prioritized by local altruists.
Is region-level cause prioritization research valuable to spot promising long-term priority causes worldwide?

Research of the most cost-effective causes, interpreted as means to create additional impact can inform long-term priorities – in regions of any levels of development. E. g. in Lokoja in Northern Nigeria, that means may be very different from that in Bangkok or Washington, D. C. Maybe in Lokoja that is informing mothers on the available prenatal and early childhood healthcare incentives (that in the long term gives rise to institutions perpetuating increased wellbeing), in Bangkok supporting regional norms on migrant work, and in Washington, D. C. l... (read more)

1AmAristizábal1yThanks for your comment, this is insightful. I like the distinction between as a means to create additional impact and as means to help locals. Also thanks for pointing out other ways in which this latter option informs long-term priorities, there are many I did not consider before such as the further funds that are left for outer moral circles when people care for inner moral circles more cost-effectively, although I wonder if that is always the case or if the time/effort invested finding cost-effective local causes to care for inner moral circles could be better used otherwise, like finding ways to expand moral circles for example haha but so far I share your views and I think that it is valuable to spot these areas acknowledging the limits. Thanks again!
EA Cameroon - COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention in the Santa Division of Cameroon Project Proposal

OK, thank you. Added that better fitting masks made of denser material work better.

EA Cameroon - COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention in the Santa Division of Cameroon Project Proposal

Yes. In terms of percentage, how less effective are 4 layers of woven fabric in preventing the spread of coronavirus than 4 layers of knitted fabric? Than 2 layers of woven fabric? The idea is to have at least 4 layers of the sock (after folding) or at least 2 layers of other fabric. In preventing breathing in the virus?

2John_Maxwell1yI have no idea, I already shared my notes above! :) Perhaps the team could reach out to e.g. the author of the Johns Hopkins article? BTW, I did find this article which argues for knitted masks: https://stringking.com/face-masks/knit-vs-woven-fabric/ [https://stringking.com/face-masks/knit-vs-woven-fabric/] However, I'm more inclined to trust Johns Hopkins. But maybe the author of the Johns Hopkins article would have interesting opinions on the above link. Edit: Here's more info https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/06/stanford-scientists-contribute-to-who-mask-guidelines.html [https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/06/stanford-scientists-contribute-to-who-mask-guidelines.html]
EA Cameroon - COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention in the Santa Division of Cameroon Project Proposal

Hello Ray,

That is a part of the team. Community leaders (not pictured) will be also engaged in recording the show in local languages and answering questions regarding details of any of the preventive measures in their local communities.

The idea is to collect baseline data on following the preventive measures (and case incidence, if possible) in a town within the radio and newspaper reach and in a comparable town outside of the reach of the two. After one month, the results will be evaluated and further steps taken accordingly.

The spending will be accounted and tracked by EA Cameroon. It may be a great idea to post updates on spending.

EA Cameroon - COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention in the Santa Division of Cameroon Project Proposal

Hi John,

This is so cool! Actually EA Cameroon has done this research and they recommended using socks. However, all the resources will specify that any fabric works, as long as it covers mouth and nose.

And yes, I should write an update. The mask-making will be explained via radio and also taught to community leaders who will then be able to run the workshops. It is actually a great idea to schedule these workshops. Everyone will be encouraged to share the general information regarding preventive measures.

2John_Maxwell1yHm, socks are knitted not woven, right?
EA Cameroon - COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention in the Santa Division of Cameroon Project Proposal

Added the [July 21, 2020 edit] to the Our Track Record section that talks about the team.

EA Cameroon - COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention in the Santa Division of Cameroon Project Proposal

Sure! I am currently connecting with EAs in sub-Saharan Africa with the intention of building the EA community there. During these conversations, I identified a project that the EA community may be interested in and offered to edit the writing of EA Cameroon.

5vaidehi_agarwalla1yMeta-level: It might help to add a section on the top explaining the above so the relationship is clear.
EAGxVirtual Unconference (Saturday, June 20th 2020)

WORKSHOP: Global development negotiation

~~ Learn global development negotiation techniques from a trained negotiator. ~~

My background:

  • MA in Economic Diplomacy, international development focus
  • Negotiating for cost-effective environmental actions with the UN

Structure:

Why to negotiate for global development? (0-1 min)

Negotiation techniques (with examples) (1-5 min)

  • Ask for more, insist & refine
  • Repetition & Memos
  • Respond, then advocate
  • Personal example
  • Respect decisions
  • Focus on outcome, not power dynamics

Q&A (5-13 min)

Role-playing workshop on the Icebr... (read more)

Thoughts on improving governance in developing countries

Hi. I actually anecdotally admire the Indian government for upgrading itself toward greater national welfare efficiently. The reason is sound leadership (exemplification of great standards and willingness to advance solutions beneficial to the public). For example, India's higher government officials were making long-hours group phone calls with their subordinates, respectfully publicly shaming them for not inputting (correct) data (C. K. Prahalad, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, p. 93), thus making sure the local officials uphold standards.... (read more)

EA lessons from my father

Very clear argument, thank you. While I do not believe that I can change your mind, judging from your tone, I also think that I do not need to: happier and more relaxed people may truly be in a better position to share their privileges with others, who then will be also happier and more relaxed. Then, I hope you will succeed in your research, while reminding your peers about the cost-effective, EA ways to share happiness with persons in the world.

We asked our WANBAM community what resources they would recommend. Here’s what they said!

OK, that is great, thanks! I cannot see the Rosie Campbell talk on the EA international events calendar. Could you please add these talks there? (e. g. for FB non-users).

5KathrynMecrow2ySure! I had no idea this existed :) Thank you.
EA Forum Prize: Winners for March 2020

From what I read regarding the committee's rationale for selecting "Effective altruism and free riding," I infer that good posts:

1) are visually concise (e. g. use tables, highlights, heading structures, infographics)

2) build on/respond to existing EA work when possible

3) recommend actionable items that EAs may follow

4) incorporate external perspectives when possible

Am I right? Should this be formalized and perhaps an example created, in order to facilitate information exchange and to promote meaningful actions?

3Aaron Gertler2ySome of this is true (using clear structures and visuals where appropriate, incorporating external perspectives where possible). On the other hand, some great content doesn't build on existing work or recommend action. The Prize exists in large part to "formalize" what good content looks like to a reasonable extent, using actual content; I don't think you could capture everything about a great post with an artificial example or two, but if someone were to skim through a couple of Prize posts, I think they'd get the right idea about what we (the judges) think is valuable.
EA lessons from my father

Thank you for this. Assuming that your kind heart, contemplative insight, and outstanding dedication make you someone who contributes greatly to any area they focus on, please just do not forget to focus on causes that are neglected by the for-profit sector (e. g. researching cost-effective prevention/cures to any of the 19/20 neglected tropical diseases not yet covered by EA charities, as opposed to researching something like baldness (that takes more funds than malaria research), or cancer, or Alzheimer's disease that burdens predominantly rich peop... (read more)

3AllAmericanBreakfast2yI think these issues are extremely complex, and I think you bring up a good point, one with underlying values that I agree with. Nevertheless, many of my research interests are in Alzheimer's, chronic severe pain, and life extension. I think that people in poor countries ultimately are going to improve their length and quality of life, and there's a strong trend in that direction already. I am long on Malaria being eradicated within the next 30 years. We mostly know what to do; what's holding us back is a combination of environmental caution and the challenges of culturally sensitive governance. I'm most concerned with the despair and suffering of the elderly and chronically ill, from a sheer "loss of utility" perspective. These problems are incredibly complex: we still just have one Alhzeimer's drug, and it buys you maybe an extra year. We don't understand how pain works. Most of the utility of the investment in R&D lies at the end of the research process, so the non-neglected nature of these problems is irrelevant from the perspective of utility. Of course, it's quite relevant from the perspective of basic fairness. That's just less of a motivator for me. Beyond that, I'm sort of an immortalist. I think that the best way to get people to broaden their moral horizons and think long-term is to make them life longer, happier, healthier lives. I honestly do think it's an emergency that even in the industrialized world, life expectancy is only into the late 70s and our declines come with lots of suffering. You spend your best years trying to save up to afford your worst years. Preaching about animals and the poor and our descendents doesn't work on a scale big enough to change the world. The only way I see to change the situation is to dramatically improve the experience of old age and reduce chronic suffering. My intuition is that happy and relaxed people are more compassionate, and that it's fear or the experience of pain and dementia that undermine our happiness a
What are some historical examples of people and organizations who've influenced people to do more good?

Also, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who mobilized (arguably, not counterfactually) the billionaire community to pledge >$500b to charitable giving - after a dinner (cost of $5,000/person, at most?). That is $100,000,000 donated per $1 invested - a great deal. Should inspire other altruists to motivate others to pledge, perhaps by leading by personal example--

We asked our WANBAM community what resources they would recommend. Here’s what they said!

Thank you for sharing this. As a non-binary person (this clause is excessive yet I wish to include), I can second Rowan_Stanley's viewpoint that I too am familiar with most of the resources. Yet, there are some that I did not know before. Specifically, that is EA Work Club - and, the linked ImpactMatters website that rates charities based on the cost per unit output in several cause areas. Co-founded by Dean Karlan, the co-founder of IPA, this site has the potential to outcompete GiveWell. Apparently, they are looking for support/interns ;)

9KathrynMecrow2yThank you, as Rowan says the intention of keeping the list is really to build go-to introductory level and particularly used resources with the goal of expanding how useful we are to the EA community (specifically newcomers) in general. Thanks so much for these links. Also, not to plug our own work but we are running a seminar series right now where we interview mid level to senior level women in the EA community. Details on our Facebook page. [https://www.facebook.com/wanbamentorship/] Love to see you both there. Our next one is with Rosie Campbell from PAI. :)
Reducing long-term risks from malevolent actors

Thank you. I see. Then, I wish you the very best of luck in making an effective impact with your actions. I hope that you will succeed in preventing many decision-makers from promoting malevolent leaders.

Reducing long-term risks from malevolent actors

Thank you very much for the breathtaking analysis. I think that malevolent humans will best be prevented from gaining influence if benevolent humans outcompete them at influential posts.

4David_Althaus2yThank you. The section “What about traits other than malevolence?” [https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D-mdrvE3QtAt-rdK958Y-BrC9LoGm30vK5r2b8wyrkg/edit#heading=h.9dgw658j7hqp] in Appendix B briefly discusses this.
COVID-19 in developing countries

That is good to hear. I just hope that this is the general opinion of the public in advanced economies: that they can sacrifice some of their socio-economic status to benefit those much less privileged. But then, it may actually be that developing countries with limited budgets cognize that if they do not economically advance, they will continue to be trapped in poverty - so, they spend their budgets wisely (where it advances human capital the most). Thus, I hope that EAs take care of the international wealth redistribution so that all can advance.

6G Gordon Worley III2yAssuming you mean this seriously, I think most people value human lives for more than their economic products, such that most people are willing to spend more than what a person contributes back to the global economy. Yes, sometimes people make arguments from economics to try to assess how much we value a human life in terms of money, but these tend to be looking at how much we actually spend on such efforts, which in rich countries works out to about $50,000/year when looking primarily at medical spending, not on how much the average person produces.
What are some historical examples of people and organizations who've influenced people to do more good?

1) Maybe Nelson Mandela and the ANC? (Long Walk to Freedom) - he influenced a lot of people to do significantly more good.

Counterfactually, he was inspired and supported by the changing international norms, so it is difficult to say whether someone else would have not done the same life-long struggle a few years later.

Still, perhaps if Mandela was born into a post-Apartheid South Africa, he could have solved even more issues (perhaps those that his successors were not able to). This naively assumes Mandela's impact on racial equity in South Africa a... (read more)

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

Sorry for the late reply.

1. I was only comparing the situation of food aid sent from abroad (an advanced economy) and food aid purchased by that advanced economy locally, in the area that the aid was supposed to help. Then, if the food aid is purchased locally, farmers earn income AND everyone gains access to food aid, increasing their wealth they can spend on non-food.

2. Of course, emergencies need to be addressed and prevented within the current system and at the same time, institutions need to improve to enable development of emerging countries.

3. Perha... (read more)

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.

2kbog2y1. But WHY do you believe that the costs outweigh benefits? Again - the paper looking at Ethiopia estimated that benefits of lower prices outweighed costs on average. This seems intuitively sensible, too - if we sell subsidized low-priced goods, it should increase their wealth in the short run at least. 2. It could be - and there are also many other ways to address vulnerability to spikes in global commodity prices, as described in the last paper I linked. Of course none of these solutions is perfect and simple otherwise the problems would not exist anymore. I think we should look at the likely consequences within current regimes rather than assuming that countries/societies will get much better at responding to problems. 3. But you see how it's a tradeoff, right? People can specialize in farming or they can specialize in other trades, not both. There can be different people doing different jobs, but every person who becomes a farmer is neglecting the possibility of specializing in something else. If a country has an industrial policy it will have to make a tough choice of what industries it wants to specialize in. I am adding these considerations to Candidate Scoring System, which is more of an encyclopedia with all kinds of policy issues, but for the Civic Handbook I think I will leave the matter out as it does not have the kind of clear argumentative support necessary to build an Effective Altruist consensus.
2kbog2yRegarding food aid, you showed a couple papers discussing negative impacts from 'food dumping', subsidized agricultural exports from wealthy countries to poor ones. A topic that you studied in detail. https://sci-hub.tw/10.1017/s1742170519000097 [https://sci-hub.tw/10.1017/s1742170519000097] https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1089&context=sjel [https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1089&context=sjel] I did not read all of the text, but they mainly say: the foreign impact is that it displaces farmers. We send cheap exports, which are in fact cheaper than what a free market would produce, for a combination of reasons but mainly because of our agricultural subsidies. This puts farmers in the aid-receiving country out of work because they cannot compete. My immediate objection is, why believe that the costs to farmers outweigh the benefits to consumers? If food is lower-priced then that should help many people. I found this paper [https://www.nber.org/chapters/c0109.pdf]arguing that the consumer benefits outweighed the hit to farming, on average, for households at all income levels in Ethiopia. It was not cited by either of the papers listed above. The 1st article also says that dependence on food imports creates vulnerability to price spikes, citing this paper [http://www.ictsd.org/sites/default/files/downloads/2012/08/net-food-importing-developing-countries-who-they-are-and-policy-options-for-global-price-volatility.pdf] . But local food sources are volatile too, no? Local weather patterns, political instability, plant diseases, etc can create local price spikes. I imagine this would be worse than volatility in global commodity prices. Now, you can have imports step up to cover local price spikes, but you can also have local production step up to cover global price spikes. The former may be easier, but overall I just don't see good reason to believe that dumping increases price volatility. There is t
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, thi... (read more)

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... (read more)

Coronavirus: how much is a life worth?

Interesting!

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?

3bfinn2yI'm not an expert, but I assume (from a glance at the second paper) this is because the 1%-59% is a cost (opportunity cost), not a value of a life year as such; i.e. in a very poor country you can extend a life by a year for as little as $3, maybe with a vaccine or micronutrient supplement. Actually that seems an order of magnitude too low to me; but nonetheless, it's 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.

5kbog2y1. OK, I am emboldening key sentences now. Not entirely sure if I like it though. 2. Thanks, I replied in comments within the document.
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