Seth Ariel Green

Researcher-Writer @ Global Income Coin
Working (6-15 years of experience)


Devotee of two ATs (the Appalachian Trail and Adventure Time)


On, you first check a box for what fund you want to donate to, and then there's a a checkbox asking you to "Add 10% for GiveWell's unrestricted use (likely to support GiveWell's operating expenses)"

yep, this is definitely on my agenda. Hard to scope out -- is it a 1 hour project or a 10 hour or a  100 hour? I'd guess 10 but I'm not sure. Anyway you are right and sooner rather than later is better 😃 

Yep, we donate our proceeds to GiveDirectly! More details here:

Hi Noah, good to hear from you again!

  1.  The post-great recession period has been a historical anomaly, and in general, we expect interest rates (and short-term T-bill yields, which are tightly correlated with interest rates) to be positive. But if and when yield dips to zero, we'll prioritize stability over yield, meaning we'll halt income transfers rather than pursue riskier investments. If zero/negative yield truly is the new normal, then we'll have to seriously reassess. 
  2. I just added this as a footnote to the paper (no. 5), but if we reach planetary scale, we're likely to issue multiple stablecoins in different currencies. Each reserve would then be backed by government bonds denominated in each stablecoin's currency. So for starters, if T-bills go down to zero yield, we'll look at other government bonds first, and then generally look at the cash equivalent category for regulatory-compliant, low-risk  options.

Hope this helps!

👋 This comes up often enough that I added a footnote (no. 5) to address it;  repasting it here

If Glo reaches trillions of dollars of market cap, we're most likely operating in a world where we issue multiple stablecoins in different currencies. Each reserve would then be backed by government bonds denominated in each stablecoin's currency.

So our truly long-term vision doesn't depend fully on T-bills, though what yield we get in such a scenario is hard to predict.  Thanks for prompting us to communicate more clearly about this

So, speaking for myself and not for Global Income Coin, I think that there are many ways to challenge the link between cash transfers and 'eradication' of poverty. You might argue that 

and probably many others. Does one of these motivate your skepticism? Or something else? This is purely for our edification, though we're happy to discuss if you'd like.

FWIW, extreme poverty is generally declining over time, and our best-case scenario is to speed that up. But either way, something like 2/3 of all people are living on less than $10 a day -- so not conventionally defined as extremely poor, but still people for whom $1/day could make a real difference. 

Hi Jay, thanks for the kind words!

Your summary is correct and pithy to boot! Perhaps we'll link people to it if they ask what our deal is 😃 

  1. For individual buyers, Glo will be available at crypto exchanges. Selling Glo for USD on an exchange should be essentially instantaneous (depending on the exchange). How long it takes to get to your bank account will vary from place to place. In Europe, it takes like a day but, for reference, Coinbase estimates 3-5 days for US customers. Hope that helps!
  2. We don't currently plan to use yield to fund our operations. But standard caveat about the future being unwritten,  we'll have to evaluate based on our donor base, etc.

Hi Michael, just for our own curiosity, what are the weaker claims in this article, from your view? 

We know that there is a limit to the amount of US T-bills that can be efficiently held in the market. If Glo reaches trillions of dollars of market cap, we're most likely operating in a world where we issue multiple stablecoins in different currencies. Each reserve would then be backed by government bonds denominated in each stablecoin's currency.

Our estimates of yield are based on T-bill yield, but, ofc, what assets will yield (or even exist) in the future where we're planetary scale is hard to speculate about. We think that somewhere in the 2.5%-3% range for cash equivalent investments is a good baseline estimate. Does that seem reasonable to you?

Hey all, really enjoyed this piece and love that y'all are working on long-term evaluations. Johannes, I know your work from the GiveDirectly papers and it's been interesting to see you shift gears.

Few small comments.

First, the actual comparison I want to see between Malengo & cash transfers is on a per-dollar basis. I'm confident that 12K of tuition is more welfare-improving than a $500 cash transfer. but is it 24X  better? Thinking about this as a potential donor, that's what I want to know. You can tease it out from the post, but is there a way to foreground the comparison? 

Recognizing this, many high-income countries are actively working to reduce migration barriers

Are they? And is this really why? You might say that many forces within high-income countries are working to liberalize immigration -- for a pretty wide array of reasons! -- but also that they're being opposed every step of the way. And I can't think of "many" high-income places where the push towards liberalization is so universal that we can say that the countries as a whole are "actively working to reduce migration barriers."  We might more accurately say that "Recognizing this, many advocates in high-income countries are actively pushing to reduce immigration barriers." 

Studies that permit causal claims

I understand what this means because I have a social science background, but I think it might be clearer to a general audience to say "studies that successfully identify casual effects".

Specifically, education itself has large returns, on the order of 10% per year.

As Tyler Cowen notes, Caplanian views on education are more in vogue maybe this can be qualified to specify where and when those estimates are from? The first thing that came to mind for me was the reasonably well-established finding that 2-3 years of a B.A. produces very little additional return beyond a HS degree, because so much of the value of a college degree is the signal of ability to do something to completion.

Indeed, several studies suggest strong human capital responses to migrant exposure. Bedasso et al. (2020)...Abarcar and Theoharides (2021)  ... Dinkelman and Mariotti (2016) ... Batista et al. (2011) e

Just asking, do these studies permit causal claims? I read the abstracts and I have no idea if these are good estimation strategies. I estimate that it would take many hours (days?) to get a good sense of their credibility. Imagine that I'm a determined skeptic. Would this evidence persuade? I am strongly pro-immigration but I'm also kind of a randomista so this evidence is a bit hard to parse. (I fully understand why this level of detail was beyond the post though.)

Anyway overall I love the thrust of this project and I look forward to hearing more updates!

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