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Denkenberger comments on My Cause Selection: Michael Dickens - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Denkenberger 08 November 2015 04:33:16PM 0 points [-]

Impressive analysis. But what about the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute or the Copenhagen Consensus Center? Disclosure: I am an associate at GCRI.

Comment author: MichaelDickens  (EA Profile) 08 November 2015 06:18:49PM 0 points [-]

GCRI is probably worth looking into. My first impression is it's pretty similar to FHI and CSER and there's nothing that make GCRI look clearly better than FHI/CSER. I do think it's pretty unlikely that I would end up preferring GCRI to REG/MIRI/ACE, so I haven't prioritized investigating it.

It hadn't occurred to me to look into the Copenhagen Consensus Center. Based on what I know about it, there are few factors working against it:

  1. It doesn't appear to be funding constrained.
  2. It does prioritization work on global poverty only, which is probably not the most effective cause area.
  3. Its prioritization work on global poverty is probably not as useful as GiveWell's.
  4. It recommends interventions instead of specific charities. Implementation matters a lot--you shouldn't support a poor implementation of a good intervention. GiveWell is more useful for this reason.

The big factor in CCC's favor is it could move a lot of money (it has potentially moved about $5 billion, although this is probably optimistic). This might actually be sufficiently valuable to make CCC worth supporting. CCC is seeking public donations, but there's still the big question of how donations translate into better recommendations.

Here's a few questions I'd need to answer before feeling comfortable donating to CCC:

  1. How do donations translate into better recommendations or more money moved?
  2. How much money does it move?
  3. How much better is the money moved compared to the counterfactual?
  4. How effective is CCC's money moved compared to GiveWell top charities, or compared to my favorite charities?

Right now it looks sufficiently unlikely that CCC is the best donation target that I don't think it's worth it for me to look into more.

Comment author: Denkenberger 26 April 2016 01:52:18AM 1 point [-]

Well, GCRI is much more funding constrained than FHI or CSER.