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Raltune comments on Open Thread #40 - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Raltune 14 July 2018 10:36:07PM 6 points [-]

New here. Hoping to get some karma points so that I can ask specific questions for the local community development project I have planned.

I just finished reading "The Nobel Laureates' Guide To The Smartest Targets For The World" and can not find the specific methods that can be employed to achieve the proposed targets. For example: with regard to coral reef loss, if the research is accurate and there is a 24$ economic return for every 1$ spent, through what organizations or processes can this be achieved? The specific dollar figure must imply that the process is known. Is there a separate resource of footnotes that describe how to achieve those returns? The short book was very interesting as a navigation tool towards the initiatives that may have the greatest economic return and resultant prosperity for humankind.

Thanks for any insights if you get the chance. -Tom

Comment author: PeterMcCluskey 17 July 2018 03:13:02PM 3 points [-]

I don't trust the author (Lomborg), based on the exaggerations I found in his book Cool It.

I reviewed that book here.

Comment author: Milan_Griffes 15 July 2018 04:43:42PM 1 point [-]

New here.

Welcome!

For example: with regard to coral reef loss, if the research is accurate and there is a 24$ economic return for every 1$ spent

If there was a $24 total return to every dollar spent, and the actor could capture even a small fraction of this return, I'd expect that a for-profit enterprise would already be doing this.

But I'm not familiar with the domain, maybe there's no way for a for-profit to capture the return, or maybe the 24:1 ratio is incorrect.

Comment author: Raltune 16 July 2018 03:21:31PM 3 points [-]

Thanks, Milan. I think the economics are such that the return does not necessarily go to the person/org that donated the money. The 24$ return per 1$ invested is seen in sustainable fisheries and the taxes they generate; in generating tourism for that region and all the jobs and auxiliary benefits, taxes, decreased welfare spending, etc. So it's a great return but does not accrue to the donor, per se. But it's a great investment for governments and for charities that are looking to maximize well-being.

Other examples from the book have "family planning/sex education" as a 120$ return per 1$ invested. Campaigns against malaria as 36$:1. And these ideas are vetted, calculated by teams of economists trying to decide where the trillions of dollars that will be spent on aid over the next 15 years.

Does that make sense?

If anyone found this useful I could use a couple karma points to start threads in the regular forum. Thanks. :) -Tom

Comment author: Milan_Griffes 16 July 2018 03:24:30PM *  1 point [-]

Hm, could you link to the place where you're getting these figures? I'm curious :-)

(Or give page numbers if it's a book.)

Comment author: Raltune 16 July 2018 07:22:46PM 1 point [-]

It's only 145 pages and very interesting imo. Well worth the short read. I love the concept of interventions that pay for themselves. An insecticide treated bed net for 5$ including delivery, on average, pays for itself by preventing malaria and fostering a culture with less societal burden down the road; less hospital costs for the sick, more taxes generated by healthy workers; healthy kids from those parents; etc. An economically virtuous circle.

Book: https://www.amazon.ca/Nobel-Laureates-Smartest-Targets-2016-2030/dp/1940003113