Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 21 December 2016 02:57:42PM 1 point [-]

Very cool post.

Just saw that the transaction costs for m-pesa are quite high - the company makes ~20% profit... so there might be something that a Wave-like startup could do:

maybe using crypocurrency - see here:

Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 09 December 2016 12:55:21PM 6 points [-]

One starting point could be this recent report by Bridgespan: this is the forbes article about it... I found this interesting - all donations over 25 million in 2015 that are categorized as big bets:

And here is an older list with grants from 2000-2014

one could analyse how those turned out.

Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 25 September 2016 09:06:01AM 3 points [-]

Reddit is one of the most visited sites on the web so this might give EA more exposure. People should subscribe and downvote things that are not relevant and contribute to the discussions with helpful links etc...

Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 02 June 2016 03:30:26PM 0 points [-]

Air Pollution, Temperature and Cognitive Performance in the Short Run: Evidence from Women’s Ability to Recall Dates

Abstract: Cognitive performance is important to productivity across many fields and potentially correlated to air pollution and extreme temperatures. We study the effects of daily ambient air pollution and monthly temperature on women’s ability of recalling dates across 42 developing countries from 1997 to 2009. We use an estimated natural air pollution data, and calculate the AQI to get an aggregate effect of air pollution. We find that one standard deviation increase in the AQI leads to a statistical decrease in women’s probability to recall dates such as birthdays, marriage date or children’s birthdays by 0.44 percentage point. Furthermore, there is a nonlinear effect of air pollution with a suggesting AQI threshold 150. We also find each degree day above 30°C increase the probability of women fail to recall children’s birthdays by 0.17 percentage point. Moreover, by doing a sub-sample estimation, we find that air pollution and temperature particularly affect uneducated women.

Comment author: MichaelDickens  (EA Profile) 19 May 2016 03:58:07PM *  1 point [-]

Have you looked at GiveWell's cost-effectiveness model? I don't believe that's correct. GiveWell estimates the cost-effectiveness of bednets as

((long-term benefits to income) / (cost per person-year of protection * relative development benefits)) + ((DALYs per life * conversion factor from DALYs to income) / (cost per life saved))

(making some simplifying assumptions but that's the gist of it.)

So it's a sum of the development benefits to income and the life-saving benefits. Estimates vary between employees, but on average the life-saving benefits account for about 2/3 of the total benefits. The claim that AMF is 10x more cost-effective than GiveDirectly comes from the total figure, and most of that comes from life-saving benefits. Therefore the cost-effectiveness estimate for AMF critically depends on how you estimate the value of saving lives.

And anyway, many people cite the benefits of AMF as "saving a life for $3000" or something along those lines, which falls prey to the problems I discuss here.

Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 23 May 2016 01:41:56PM *  1 point [-]

Sorry I was being unclear. The part of the equation that you call 'Life saving benefits' (e.g. ((DALYs per life * conversion factor from DALYs to income) / (cost per life saved)) is only of instrumental value - it crucially depend on the conversion factor of from DALYs to income (if you were to set it to zero so that there would be no increase in income due to the morbidity and mortality, the life saving benefits would be zero). So I believe there is no intrinsic valuing of QALYs/Life in the cost-effectiveness model that suggests that bednets are 10 times more effective than cash-transfers, as I thought your argument implies. Rather I believe cost-per-life saved is modelled separately.

Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 19 May 2016 11:04:06AM 1 point [-]

Very interesting post - thanks for writing it!

Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 19 May 2016 10:39:15AM 2 points [-]

GiveWell claims that AMF is about 10 times more cost-effective than GiveDirectly, and GiveWell ranks AMF as its top charity partially on this basis (see “Summary of key considerations for top charities” in the linked article). This claim depends on the assumption that saving a life creates 35 QALYs.

I'm sorry but I didn't have time to read this post in full and can't comment on the philosophical issues. I also cannot speak for GiveWell and the following is just my personal interpretation of their cost-effectiveness analysis.

I think the statement above is a based on a misunderstanding of Givewell's cost-effectiveness analyses.

GiveWell writes here: "We do include possible developmental impacts on children who sleep under an LLIN: we estimate that sleeping under an LLIN provides the same developmental impacts that a deworming pill provides. However, most of the benefit provided by LLINs is in the lives that LLINs save, not in their impact on development."

I think this is what the 10x better than GiveDirectly refers to. Deworming charities have a similar effect on development and are also ranked as about 10x as good as cash-transfers and rarely cause mortality, which leads me to believe that the child mortality reduction is not included in that part of the cost-effectiveness analysis, but rather modelled separately.

Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 12 May 2016 11:36:18AM 5 points [-]
Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 19 February 2016 12:19:18PM 2 points [-]

Why wouldn't we just expect them to publish in peer reviewed journals?

Comment author: HaukeHillebrandt 25 January 2016 01:04:35PM *  9 points [-]

I think this is great. I actually wanted to write about how the 5th cause areas should be working on providing Global Public Goods.

I also had posted this before but I think it fits: One idea I had a while ago is doing research into optimal reading. I did a quick literature review some time ago trying to find out the ideal size of fonts for fast reading, but couldn't find any definite data. Most of the things written on speedreading seem to be completely unscientific (e.g. flashing words one by one on the screen).

An app could measure how far away you are from the screen with a webcam and then collect data on how fast you're reading. This app could then automatically adjust the font size etc.

The idea here is not so much the app, but more that so many people are reading every day for multiple hours. Making everyone read faster (~more effective) even by 0.1% would have a lot of benefits.

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