Comment author: RandomEA 15 June 2018 07:45:22AM *  3 points [-]

It's also interesting to compare the results from this Animal Equality study to the results from the previous Reducetarian Labs MTurk Study.

In the Reducetarian Labs study, you found that respondents reduced their consumption of chicken by an average of 1.127 servings a month [0.26 * 52 / 12]. (The estimate for the Animal Equality study is slightly higher at 1.399 servings a month [0.86 * 1.627].)

Assuming that the effect lasted six months, respondents ate, on average, 6.762 fewer servings of chicken [6 * 1.127 servings]. This means they ate, on average, 25.019 fewer ounces of chicken [3.7 * 6.762 ounces] (or 1.564 fewer pounds of chicken [25.019 ounces / 16]). Since any reduction in consumption is partially offset by others increasing their consumption (due to the reduction in consumption lowering prices), the net reduction in amount eaten was 0.594 pounds [0.38 * 1.564 pounds]. Making the same assumption I made in the parent comment, this reduction results in 1.208 fewer pounds of chicken carcass being produced [2.033 * 0.594 pounds]. This means that, on average, each respondent spared 0.292 chickens [1.208 pounds / 4.134 pounds] and 0.035 chicken years [0.12 * 0.292 chickens]. (By comparison, respondents in the Animal Equality study spared, on average, 0.362 chickens [0.292 / 1.127 * 1.399] and 0.043 chicken years [0.035 / 1.127 * 1.399].)

[The numbers used in the above paragraph are borrowed from the parent comment or your Guesstimate model.]

Assuming that it costs $0.35 to reach one person through leafletting or online ads (which seems to be the number you used in reporting the Reducetarian Labs study), it would cost $1.20 to spare a chicken [$0.35 * 1 / 0.292] and $10.00 to spare a chicken year [$0.35 * 1 / 0.035].

Why are these numbers so much lower than the numbers reported for the Animal Equality study? All numbers used for the estimate were the same except for consumption reduction per respondent and cost per respondent. Additionally, consumption reduction per respondent was very similar between the two studies. Thus, the difference is almost entirely due to cost per respondent: it costs $0.35 to reach a person through leafletting or online ads while it costs $3.30* to reach a person through in-person videos. Perhaps there's a lesson here: if two interventions have a roughly similar effect size but significantly different costs per person reached, choosing the lower cost intervention can greatly increase impact per dollar.

*In your Guesstimate model for pigs, you use a cost per person of $2.80 for 2D video and $2.90 for VR video. Why is the cost per person higher for chickens?

Finally, it's worth noting that the above analysis of the Reducetarian Labs study is limited to the respondents' reported reduction in consumption of chicken. (The respondents also reported reducing consumption of other animal products.)

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 04 July 2018 03:23:38PM 1 point [-]

Hey RandomEA, just wanted to weigh in here that Marcus and I are very grateful for your comments. I've dedicated a week of my research time this month to go through them and update the post as well as do some ideas for follow-up research looking at the Reducetarian Labs study data.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 04 July 2018 03:15:18AM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure if (2) is wrong or not, but I'd guess it tends to be overemphasized. For example, if I went back in time 100 years ago and gave the poorest person $1000, would the aggregate indirect effect over those 100 years really be bigger? I'd like to see more argument for this one way or another.

Comment author: hollymorgan 01 July 2018 11:39:28PM 0 points [-]

Do you know of a tax-deductible way to support you as a UK donor?

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 03 July 2018 05:30:06PM 0 points [-]

Maybe via EA Grants?

Comment author: zdgroff 21 June 2018 02:15:55AM 2 points [-]

This is awesome. I suppose this is something anyone could fix, but I'm curious why it seems to deviate from the normal EA division of causes and has animal welfare as a subcause? Animal welfare already has a number of categories under it, and not all policy-related, so seems like maybe it should be its own category.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 21 June 2018 05:05:59AM 0 points [-]

Categorizing causes is very hard. I don't think this is this is the best attempt, and I agree that the section on nonhuman animal welfare in particular may span multiple categories. I'm still deciding how to best categorize things and may write more about this in the future. I'm definitely open to suggestions or edits.

Comment author: Telofy  (EA Profile) 19 June 2018 03:33:59PM *  12 points [-]

Sweet! I hope it’ll become a great resource! Are you planning to merge it with https://causeprioritization.org/? If there are too many wikis, we’d just run into the same problem with fragmented bits of information again.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 19 June 2018 07:53:39PM 4 points [-]

Good question. The answer is that I'm not sure yet how to handle that.

I agree I don't want there to be five different prioritization wikis, but I also don't want the fact that one person has done the project at one point to mean that no one can ever do the project again. It's hard to strike the right balance there.

We mainly chose to go with a different wiki software to improve the editing experience (especially editing without creating an account) to remove barriers to contribution. We could potentially start migrating content whichever way makes sense.

Comment author: Khorton 19 June 2018 10:31:24AM 2 points [-]

It seems odd to me that there's only one page for developing world health. I'd expect that page to get long and confusing quickly!

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 19 June 2018 01:28:38PM 2 points [-]

We can split it up into multiple pages if it gets unwieldy. Figuring out the best organization is hard.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 19 June 2018 01:55:40AM 4 points [-]

In addition to cataloging sources of data and analysis for current and potential EA causes, it might also be nice if there was a repository of info on why some common cause areas are not generally recommended by EA. I'm unsure how one would incentivize such info being added though.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 19 June 2018 02:46:10AM 3 points [-]

it might also be nice if there was a repository of info on why some common cause areas are not generally recommended by EA

Good idea. I had been experimenting by adding summaries at the top of some articles (for example this one on aging) and was trying to figure out how opinionated the Wiki should be. Right now I was trying to err on the side of being less opinionated. If you have any thoughts on this issue, I'd definitely be curious to hear them.

I'm unsure how one would incentivize such info being added though.

We're hoping to eventually and slowly create a volunteer pool to do this kind of work. This seems like the kind of tasks volunteers have done well on in my past experience. Furthermore, given funding, we'd even be able to pay for the assistance.

Comment author: RyanCarey 19 June 2018 12:20:36AM 5 points [-]

Do you have a plan for managing information hazards?

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 19 June 2018 12:41:12AM 2 points [-]

We control the site, so we can revert the addition of any information hazards if they come up. I imagine the site has the same risk of spreading infohazards as, say, this forum.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 15 June 2018 09:48:21PM 0 points [-]

I think you have a typo in your post title.

Comment author: [deleted] 11 June 2018 04:38:18PM *  0 points [-]

Despite this, we are faced with a genuine choice here and need some way to navigate that choice, even if we may do that with different values and philosophical backgrounds in mind.

Of course. But we're comparing two such different things here that I wouldn't claim things like, ". . . an estimate of $310 per pig year saved . . . which is worse than human-focused interventions even from a species neutral perspective" - to me, that's much worse than saying things like, "it costs $300 to provide biweekly CBT for a depressed Kenyan for a month and $50 to provide a daily hot meal for a homeless American for a month, so the former is worse than the latter even from a nationality neutral perspective", which you wouldn't say.

Comment author: Peter_Hurford  (EA Profile) 11 June 2018 05:56:20PM 0 points [-]

I disagree with your analogy. I do think it's meaningful to say that I would prefer human-focused interventions at that price tradeoff and that it isn't because of speciesist attitudes. So they're at least comparable enough for people to know what I'm talking about.

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