On GiveWell's estimates of the cost of saving a life

post by Aaron__Maiwald · 2020-10-01T10:22:34.170Z · score: 14 (7 votes) · EA · GW · No comments

This is a question post.

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I assume the answer to this question is already known by the majority of the community and mostly interesting to newbies like myself. But, since I haven't found it answered after a bit of searching and I think it is relevant, it might be of value to some people.

As far as I know, GiveWell estimates that in 2020 the cost of saving the life of a child in the developing world is at 2300$.

I have two questions on this:

(i) I assume the exact calculation are pretty complicated, but could someone give me a rough overview of the steps they took to arrive at that figure?

(ii) What does "saving a life" mean here exactly? Does it mean "advert the death of someone by any amount of time" or "cause the extension of life (for one or a many) by a total of the expected life span of someone in the given region"? I assume its the latter, but it would be nice to have a confirmation.

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answer by MichaelDickens · 2020-10-01T17:21:05.343Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

GiveWell's full cost-effectiveness calculations are available here: https://www.givewell.org/how-we-work/our-criteria/cost-effectiveness/cost-effectiveness-models

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