Lucas Lewit-Mendes

414Joined Nov 2021


I'd like to see someone in the EA community do some work related to preventing bullying, which seems likely to be one the most intense forms of suffering for children. 

This is an awesome and beautifully written post, thanks James!

Thanks so much for your awesome work!! :) 

What is StrongMinds' room for more funding, and do you expect the cost-effectiveness of the marginal dollar (ie. additional funds) to be any worse than the average cost-effectiveness of StrongMinds?

Fantastic work - thank you! 

Re Jalil et. al (2022), it's interesting to see there was a decrease in poultry/fish consumption as a result of climate change messaging (in addition to red meat). My prior concern would've been that people might simply switch from red meat to poultry/fish. For those interested in the general topic, note also this meta-review on interventions that influence animal-product consumption. 

Ah yes, my apologies, I meant natural experiments (or in the case of Croke 2019, a natural experiment caused by an actual experiment). 

I suppose it is possible deworming would have a much smaller effect when children also receive these other interventions. However, I would've thought many children currently being treated for worms are also receiving such interventions, therefore making it decision-relevant for GiveWell-funded deworming programs? 

Thanks for this post, the critique of GiveDirectly seems particularly compelling and important. 

On the issue of effects on males vs females, were you able to look into whether they may have converged towards more homogenous effects over time? It seems most of the eradication campaigns studied in the papers listed happened in the 1950s - I would suspect labour market opportunities are significantly stronger for women today, though I haven't looked at the data or whether this is true for the low-income countries where GiveWell's malaria charities do their work. Lucas 2010 also finds quite large educational effects on females (with no males included in the study), while Barreca 2010 find no significant differences in economic effects between males and females. 

Note that  if observational (i.e. non-experimental) studies are being included, one would probably also want to consider Croke 2019, which shows null effects on literacy and numeracy. 

There is also Makamu et al. 2018, but I don't think the natural experiment is very plausible (they use variation in which regions had deworming campaigns, but this is likely to be correlated with other policies/economic factors). 

Hi Holly, we’re not aware of how toxic ammonia is for other aquatic life. We believe it is always toxic, but some species may be more tolerant than others. Fish Welfare Initiative notes here that ammonia from mariculture farms may threaten aquatic life due to harmful algae blooms.

Hi MHR, thank you very much for your questions, these are important considerations! 

1. We certainly aim to consider the long-term effects on the total number of shrimps farmed when designing our interventions. Though we have not yet had an opportunity to precisely model the net effect, we expect a full analysis would need to account for: 

  • The reduction in mortality due to improved shrimp health
  • The opportunity for farmers to produce larger shrimps (and hence fewer individuals) due to improved health 
  • The long-term impacts of profitability on shrimp production 
  • The supply and demand effects of a change in shrimp production 

This uncertainty is one reason why we see our supply-side work (i.e. work with farmers) as the first part of a long-term strategy to improve shrimp welfare, which may include other mechanisms such as corporate outreach and legislative change. In the short-term, our supply-side work aims to provide a proof of concept that shrimps can be farmed at higher welfare. 

As a short-term policy to partially mitigate the risk of more shrimps being farmed, our Asks require farmers not to increase their stocking densities above their baseline. 

2. We have not yet investigated these issues in detail, but we understand there may be a couple of ways to implement EE without affecting harvesting. One option is to remove EE structures prior to harvest. Alternatively, EE could even mean having a slightly shallower area of the pond, which should not affect harvesting. In general, however, the impact of EE on harvesting will likely depend on the type of EE and the type of harvesting method (e.g. nets or mechanical systems).  

In terms of disease, one thing to note is that ponds require an ecologically balanced system, so the intention is typically not to completely disinfect the pond. Depending on the disease issue, implementing biosecurity protocols such as treating the pond with lime could also mitigate disease risk. However, having said that, it’s possible substrates could serve as vectors in disease transmission, particularly if biosecurity standards are not met. 

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