Thanks for this! You may also find this post of interest.
Benjamin Todd makes some similar points here.
Greg Mankiw’s introductory econ textbook has a good explanation of a similar point:
LeBron James is a great athlete. One of the best basketball players of all time, he can jump higher and shoot better than most other people. Most likely, he is talented at other physical activities as well. For example, let’s imagine that LeBron can mow his lawn faster than anyone else. But just because he can mow his lawn fast, does this mean he should?
Let’s say that LeBron can mow his lawn in 2 hours. In those same 2 hours, he could film a television commercial and e... (read more)
Thanks for the link! I will look into this soon.
My immediate reaction is that that depends on the specific objectives of the advocacy organizations, as well as who they’re aiming to influence.
For example, the article mentions the patent waiver a lot. While this is (I think) a point of difference between Manya and me, I’m currently unsure (50-50 split, in fact) about the sign of the effect of the patent waiver, and pretty convinced the magnitude is small (and that it obscures the deeper problems with vaccine supply).
From talking to the people helping the Swasti fundraiser in question, they seem to be working on data and coordination, but appear to be working separately on procurement and distribution! In any case, our point was more that Swasti and Swasth are separate organizations (and the similar name seems like a coincidence).
That’s why our third recommendation (not in order of importance) under oxygen is the Swasth/ACT Grants fundraiser! From our post: “Swasth’s Oxygen for India concentrator fundraiser on Milaap (for the price at which they are buying oxygen concentrators, room for more funding, and transparency about procurement and funding).”
From a conversation with the people running the Swasti Oxygen for All fundraiser, our guess is the two are equally cost-effective.
Hi! So the Swasti Oxygen for All fundraiser does not offer a tax deduction for the United States (I asked them recently). Swasth’s Oxygen for India fundraiser offers tax deductions for donations from the United States for donations above $1,000 (the details are specified in the link). We are happy to check about other countries!
We really appreciate it!
My current (weakly-held) opinion is that the farm reforms passed in 2020 were good. Some useful sources are Shruti Rajagopalan’s op-ed on this, Sadanand Dhume’s WSJ piece on this, and this article. I also recommend Shruti Rajagopalan’s interview of Shoumitro Chatterjee.
Thanks a lot for this estimate! I will link your comment on our post.
I’ve added Swasth as a recommendation, because it seems to purchase concentrators at lower prices and seems to have more room for funding at the moment, and because our concerns on accessible payment options are likely less relevant among EAs (as opposed to the high school and college students who will likely attend our debate lecture series). Thanks for pointing it out!
I don’t think the two are related!
We actually looked at Swasth and think it’s another very promising opportunity – definitely comparable to our other two recommendations – but we didn’t recommend it because it only accepted the payment method of a bank transfer for foreign donations, which could be less accessible (particularly for the lecture series that we originally wrote this for).
In general, however, it looks quite good, both for the prices at which Swasth is getting concentrators and given their focus on concentrators, which we think are the most cost-effective option.
Thanks for sharing! Manya and I will look this up/check the actual size of the oxygen tanks and times, and see how it affects Jeff’s model.
Thanks for the comment! We are honestly quite unsure about the margin, especially because the cost-effectiveness analyses we have access to are about the cause area and not a model for the specific charitable donations.
Our guess is that donations to oxygen likely beat GiveWell top charities – here are Jeff Coleman’s calculations for the GiveIndia’s various programs for magnitudes. It’s hard to give a precise estimate partly because each oxygen concentrator or cylinder, for instance, is a fixed cost which can be used for a while (and we‘re... (read more)
My guesses at the moment are that:
Was so surprised and happy to see this when just scrolling through EA Forum today! Thanks a lot for conducting it, I really enjoyed competing. The high school pilot program looks incredible!