In this report, we provide an overview of all our evaluations to date as well as our conclusions for Giving Season 2023.
In this substantial update to our work on psychotherapy we conduct a systematic review, a meta-analysis, and cost-effectiveness analyses of two charities who deliver psychotherapy (StrongMinds and Friendship Bench). This is a working report that will be updated over time, results may change.
On the 2nd of June 2023, Elie Hassenfeld was interviewed on the 80'000 hours podcast. Here, we present our responses.
By: Michael Plant
In this shallow cause exploration, we explore the impact of lead exposure on subjective wellbeing. We review the literature, model the impact of lead exposure on wellbeing, and conduct some back-of-the-envelope calculations of the cost-effectiveness of various interventions to decrease lead exposure.
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.
In this shallow cause exploration, we explore the impact of immigration on subjective wellbeing. We review the literature, model the impact of immigration on wellbeing, and conduct some back-of-the-envelope calculations of the cost-effectiveness of various interventions to increase immigration.
In this shallow cause exploration, we explore the relationship between pain and subjective wellbeing; assess the severity and scale of chronic pain in terms of life satisfaction; and offer some novel back-of-the-envelope calculations for the cost-effectiveness of several interventions to treat pain.
In this report, we summarise the debate about the efficacy of deworming, present the first analysis of deworming in terms of subjective wellbeing, and compare the cost-effectiveness of deworming to StrongMinds (our current top recommended charity).
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.
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.
We make four recommendations to improve GiveWell’s cost-effectiveness analyses: (1) publicly explain and defend their assumptions about the effect of deworming over time; (2) explain their cost-effectiveness analyses in writing; (3) illustrate the sensitivity of their results to key parameters; (4) make it clear when an estimate is subjective or evidence-based.
Progress Studies has been popularised by academics such as Tyler Cowen and Steven Pinker. However, the Easterlin Paradox presents a real challenge to the claim that if we want more progress, we just need to improve the long-run growth rate - a view that Cowen argues for in his book Stubborn Attachments.
By: Michael Plant
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.
Drawing on evidence from over 80 studies and over 140,000 participants, we compare the cost-effectiveness of cash transfers and psychotherapy by estimating their effect on the recipient's subjective wellbeing and affective mental health.
This report explains how we determined the cost-effectiveness of StrongMinds using subjective wellbeing and affective mental health.
This report explains how we determined the cost-effectiveness of group or task-shifted psychotherapy in low- and middle-income countries using subjective wellbeing and affective mental health.
This report explains how we determined the cost-effectiveness of cash transfers using subjective wellbeing and affective mental health.
The Mental Health Programme Evaluation Project (MHPEP) was an HLI-led volunteer project that ran from February 2019 to October 2021.The principal aim of the project was to identify and direct donations to highly impactful mental health programmes.
This report investigates the global burden of mental illness. It sets out how big the problem is, how much spending it receives, and how those resources are allocated. It then focuses specifically on what can be done to reduce anxiety and depression in low-income countries.
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.