Jul 03, 2018

Why I'm skeptical of cost-effectiveness analysis

Related: EA Forum comments about this argument.


  • The entire course of the future matters (more)
  • Present-day interventions will bear on the entire course of the future, out to the far future
  • The effects of present-day interventions on far-future outcomes are very hard to predict
  • Any model of an intervention's effectiveness that doesn't include far-future effects isn't taking into account the bulk of the effects of the intervention
  • Any model that includes far-future effects isn't believable because these effects are very difficult to predict accurately

I want to think more about this. If you see a place where my reasoning is wrong, drop me a line.