On the 22nd of March 2023, GiveWell posted an “Assessment of Happier Lives Institute’s Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of StrongMinds”. Here, we present our responses. First, a general response from Michael. Second, a technical response from Joel.
The elephant in the bednet: the importance of philosophy when choosing between extending and improving lives
How should we compare the value of extending lives to improving lives? Doing so requires us to make various philosophical assumptions, either implicitly or explicitly. But these choices are rarely acknowledged or discussed by decision-makers, all of them are controversial, and they have significant implications for how resources should be distributed.
By: Michael Plant, Joel McGuire and Samuel Dupret
We raise twelve critiques of GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness analyses. Ten apply to specific inputs for malaria prevention, cash transfers, and deworming. Two are relevant for more than one intervention.
By: Joel McGuire, Michael Plant and Samuel Dupret
We update our previous analysis to incorporate the household spillover effects for cash transfers and psychotherapy. We estimate that psychotherapy is 9 times (95% CI: 2, 100) more cost-effective than cash transfers. The charity StrongMinds is estimated to be 9 times (95% CI: 1, 90) more cost-effective than the charity GiveDirectly.
By: Joel McGuire, Samuel Dupret and Michael Plant
This report explains how we determined the cost-effectiveness of cash transfers using subjective wellbeing and affective mental health.
By: Joel McGuire and Michael Plant
We know that cash transfers reduce poverty, improve health and enhance education but what impact do they have on how people feel and think about their lives? We find that cash transfers have a small, positive effect on subjective wellbeing, one that lasts for several years.