Where should I donate?

post by BrownHairedEevee (evelynciara) · 2021-11-22T20:56:32.078Z · EA · GW · 10 comments

This is a question post.

I'm about to start a new job, so I will be able to donate a lot more money to charity in the coming year, but I'm really confused as to where I ought to donate. Some information about my situation and beliefs:

I would appreciate any advice as to where I should donate and what proportions I should allocate to each org in the coming year, given what I've said here.


answer by IanDavidMoss · 2021-11-23T03:05:18.228Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Congratulations on the job!

  • I'm interested in funding "broad longtermist" interventions - ones that make society better able to deal with future challenges in general, like better institutional decision-making, reducing great-power conflict, and protecting liberal democracy. Ben Todd notes (10:34 in this talk) that this category is greatly under-resourced. I care about liberal democracy for longtermist as well as non-EA reasons, and although it seems like it's already really popular, I'm not confident that the existing funding is going to the best interventions.

FYI, Effective Institutions Project is highly funding-constrained and would welcome gifts in the range you're thinking about. I agree with Ben that the category in general could benefit from a lot more funding, especially to help establish strategic foundations for the work going forward.

Separately, I run a giving circle focused on liberal democracy interventions in the United States specifically and am happy to talk further about options in that space if you like. Feel free to PM me to set up a call.

comment by KevinO · 2021-11-23T12:55:33.927Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

How does one donate to the Effective Institutions Project?

Replies from: IanDavidMoss
comment by IanDavidMoss · 2021-11-23T14:32:01.014Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thanks for your interest! I'm hoping to get us set up for online donations in the near future, but until then, the easiest thing is to write me here or at ian@effectiveinstitutionsproject.org and I'll send you some options for check/wire.

answer by JP Addison · 2021-11-23T14:16:21.067Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I donate to, and generally advise other small donors to donate to, a donor lottery, for roughly the reasons outlined here [EA · GW].

answer by HStencil · 2021-11-22T21:51:29.666Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

In the vein of “democracy promotion” and “longer-term/less measurable global development interventions,” you might consider donating to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and/or Partnership for Transparency Fund. I know more about ICIJ than Partnership for Transparency, but both strike me as a very strong organizations with impressive track records in fighting corruption in low- and middle-income countries. In addition to anecdotes of their achievements, there is also a growing body of evidence in economics showing that local investigative journalism can have really striking (positive) effects on various sorts of favorable political outcomes. Admittedly, most of this evidence, as far as I’m aware, is not from LMICs. Assuming it generalizes to that context, though (and I think there is good reason to believe it does), ICIJ in particular may be one of the few organizations out there with a reasonable prospect of cost-effectively improving the quality of institutions in LMICs, which (as others have [EA · GW] noted [EA · GW] elsewhere on this forum) is likely quite important for bringing about faster economic growth and other related positive development outcomes.

comment by BrownHairedEevee (evelynciara) · 2021-11-23T05:42:29.257Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Can you link to some studies on the political effects of local investigative journalism?

Replies from: HStencil, HStencil
comment by HStencil · 2021-11-24T17:22:33.305Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Yeah, I’d be happy to, but I may not get around to it until next week, if that’s alright.

comment by HStencil · 2022-03-06T04:58:35.452Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Hey, sorry, I totally forgot about this until I stumbled across this [EA(p) · GW(p)] recent discussion on donating to help with the situation in Ukraine earlier this week. I've pasted a bibliography of relevant papers below.

Aker, Jenny C., Paul Collier, and Pedro C. Vicente. “Is Information Power? Using Mobile Phones and Free Newspapers during an Election in Mozambique.” The Review of Economics and Statistics 99, no. 2 (May 2017): 185–200. https://doi.org/10.1162/REST_a_00611.

Armand, Alex, Alexander Coutts, Pedro C. Vicente, and Inês Vilela. “Does Information Break the Political Resource Curse? Experimental Evidence from Mozambique.” American Economic Review 110, no. 11 (November 1, 2020): 3431–53. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.20190842.

Banerjee, Abhijit, Nils T. Enevoldsen, Rohini Pande, and Michael Walton. “Public Information Is an Incentive for Politicians: Experimental Evidence from Delhi Elections.” Working Paper. Working Paper Series. National Bureau of Economic Research, April 2020. https://doi.org/10.3386/w26925.

Besley, Timothy, and Robin Burgess. “The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 117, no. 4 (November 1, 2002): 1415–51. https://doi.org/10.1162/003355302320935061.

Bruns, Christian, and Oliver Himmler. “Newspaper Circulation and Local Government Efficiency: Newspaper Circulation and Local Government Efficiency.” Scandinavian Journal of Economics 113, no. 2 (June 2011): 470–92. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2010.01633.x.

Casey, Katherine. “Crossing Party Lines: The Effects of Information on Redistributive Politics.” American Economic Review 105, no. 8 (August 1, 2015): 2410–48. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.20130397.

Conroy-Krutz, Jeffrey. “Media Exposure and Political Participation in a Transitional African Context.” World Development 110 (October 2018): 224–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.05.002.

Drago, Francesco, Tommaso Nannicini, and Francesco Sobbrio. “Meet the Press: How Voters and Politicians Respond to Newspaper Entry and Exit.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 6, no. 3 (July 1, 2014): 159–88. https://doi.org/10.1257/app.6.3.159.

Enikolopov, Ruben, Maria Petrova, and Konstantin Sonin. “Social Media and Corruption.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 10, no. 1 (January 1, 2018): 150–74. https://doi.org/10.1257/app.20160089.

Enikolopov, Ruben, Maria Petrova, and Ekaterina Zhuravskaya. “Media and Political Persuasion: Evidence from Russia.” American Economic Review 101, no. 7 (December 1, 2011): 3253–85. https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.101.7.3253.

Enríquez, José Ramón, Horacio Larreguy, John Marshall, and Alberto Simpser. “Online Political Information, Electoral Saturation, and Electoral Accountability in Mexico.” SSRN Electronic Journal, 2021. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3897408.

Ferraz, Claudio, and Frederico Finan. “Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 123, no. 2 (May 2008): 703–45. https://doi.org/10.1162/qjec.2008.123.2.703.

Gao, Pengjie, Chang Lee, and Dermot Murphy. “Financing Dies in Darkness? The Impact of Newspaper Closures on Public Finance.” Journal of Financial Economics 135, no. 2 (February 2020): 445–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfineco.2019.06.003.

Grácio, Matilde, and Pedro C. Vicente. “Information, Get-out-the-Vote Messages, and Peer Influence: Causal Effects on Political Behavior in Mozambique.” Journal of Development Economics 151 (June 2021): 102665. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2021.102665.

Grossman, Guy, and Kristin Michelitch. “Information Dissemination, Competitive Pressure, and Politician Performance between Elections: A Field Experiment in Uganda.” American Political Science Review 112, no. 2 (May 2018): 280–301. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055417000648.

Larreguy, Horacio, and John Marshall. “The Incentives and Effects of Independent and Government-Controlled Media in the Developing World.” In The Oxford Handbook of Electoral Persuasion, edited by Elizabeth Suhay, Bernard Grofman, and Alexander H. Trechsel, 589–617. Oxford University Press, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190860806.013.13.

Larreguy, Horacio, John Marshall, and James M. Snyder. “Publicising Malfeasance: When the Local Media Structure Facilitates Electoral Accountability in Mexico.” The Economic Journal 130, no. 631 (October 16, 2020): 2291–2327. https://doi.org/10.1093/ej/ueaa046.

Moskowitz, Daniel J. “Local News, Information, and the Nationalization of U.S. Elections.” American Political Science Review 115, no. 1 (February 2021): 114–29. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003055420000829.

Pande, Rohini. “Can Informed Voters Enforce Better Governance? Experiments in Low-Income Democracies.” Annual Review of Economics 3, no. 1 (September 1, 2011): 215–37. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-061109-080154.

Reinikka, Ritva, and Jakob Svensson. “Fighting Corruption to Improve Schooling: Evidence from a Newspaper Campaign in Uganda.” Journal of the European Economic Association 3, no. 2/3 (2005): 259–67. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40004969.


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comment by Kirsten (Khorton) · 2021-11-22T22:48:18.756Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Congratulations on the new job! That's very exciting :)

Replies from: evelynciara
comment by BrownHairedEevee (evelynciara) · 2021-11-23T03:14:12.253Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thank you so much!