Estimating the cost-effectiveness of research

post by Owen_Cotton-Barratt · 2014-12-11T10:50:53.679Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · EA · GW · Legacy · None comments

At a societal level, how much money should we put into medical research, or into fusion research? For individual donors seeking out the best opportunities, how can we compare the expected cost-effectiveness of research projects with more direct interventions?

Over the past few months I've been researching this area for the Global Priorities Project. We've written a variety of articles which focus on different parts of the question. Estimating the cost-effectiveness of research is the central example here, but a lot of the methodology is also applicable to other one-off projects with unknown difficulty (perhaps including political lobbying). I don't think it's all solved, but I do think we've made substantial progress.

I think people here might be interested, so I wanted to share our work. To help you navigate and find the most appropriate pieces, here I collect them, summarise what's contained in each, and explain how they fit together.

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