Comment author: ChemaCB 22 September 2016 01:44:28PM 3 points [-]

Hello all,

I'm new to the forum, and not sure if this is a an abuse of the open thread so please tell me if so. (ps. really enjoyed the Sam Harris podcast)

Can anyone help point me in the direction of academic papers using economic models for cause prioritization or other EA related pursuits?

Quick background: 80000hours.org inspired me to study economics, not because I know much about what it's like to be an economist, but mainly because I like math, I like freakonomics radio, and I want to maximize my beneficial impact.

My situation: I'm beginning my senior research project (which I hope to lead me into graduate work), and my advisors don't seem to think that EA or cause prioritization research is economic in nature. Setting aside the likely possibility that I have simply failed to adequately explain EA to them, I think what they mean is that they don't see how it could make use of economic models.

Solicitation of advice: The reason I'm reaching out is because I don't actually know what economic EA research looks like. One idea I had for my project (based in pure ignorance, I should remind you) was to do a sensitivity analysis of a cause prioritization rubric to changes in moral frameworks. In other words, if you have different moral views (which is reasonable) how different will your cause priorities be? What do you think of this research question? Surely any organization doing CPR would have already done this analysis right? Why can't I find any published literature?

Do cause prioritization researchers use models? My advisors seem to think that it's more likely to be economic pontification than modeling that dictates prioritization. Please defend my honor. :-P

Thank you so much for your time!