"You named two charities, and I ended up decidin..."


by Benjamin Hoffman Feb 2 2017 updated Feb 2 2017

You named two charities, and I ended up deciding that the case for one of them was plausible (CiWF), so for any given dollar there's a 50-50 chance ;)

More seriously, I do have what you might summarize as a strong prior against cost-effectiveness estimates. In particular, I didn't address these issues:

Bollard's picking post-hoc an animal charity and intervention with especially clear positive track records. This has the following problems:

(Of course some programs could be secretly better than the cage-free egg campaigns, too.)

Here are some other costs I didn't account for:

If OPP or someone else claiming this impact had a relevant track record of publicly registered predictions of impact, and had actually gone back and checked and found that they were well-calibrated, then that would go a long way towards getting me to update.

I'm not sure what amount I'd put at 90% - my thinking on this is pretty bimodal, most of the 50% probability that the number's off comes from it being way off, not from it being a little off. For way off, I basically shouldn't anchor on public cost-effectiveness estimates at all.