Economic research and improving economic conditions

For Giving What We Can, I wrote two pieces explaining why economic research and improving economic conditions matters. From the articles:

Around 4.7 billion people (approximately 62% of the world’s population) live on less than $10 a day. And around 700 million people live on less than $1.90 per day, defined as “extreme poverty.”

Research shows that rising incomes are correlated with higher levels of self-reported happiness. Fortunately, we can help make that happen. Since 1990, over one billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty.

Economic research has the potential to influence change on a large scale, and history suggests that it can lead directly to positive outcomes.

It’s hard to find a single estimate of the overall impact a field as wide as economic research has had. But numerous case studies provide examples of economic research having a very large impact. One example is the deworming treatment mentioned above. GiveWell decided to fund deworming treatments as a result of economic research into the area, and they estimated that their recommendation led to over 319 million treatments being provided to children between 2012 and 2019.

You can read the full posts, which include recommendations for charities to donate to, here and here.

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