Thursday, October 25, 2007

How do we help

Today on Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen poses a reader's question (link)

“What single intervention would do the most to improve the health of people living on less than $1 a day?”

I was reading the blog while I was preparing for my economic development class this morning. I decided to show a video (which I rarely do) of a 15 minute presentation (linked here) by Bjorn Lomborg lays out the argument that HIV/AIDs then malaria then malnutrition should be the top priorities with Global warming the lowest. As he points out a HIV activist can tell you the best way to combat AIDs in Africa and a global warming scientist the best way to reduce pollution, but it is the job of the economist to determine which project to choose if we can only fund one.

As for Bjorn’s talk, I’m not sure I would put HIV/AIDs so high on the list. It is extremely expensive to treat and the money may have a better pay off in mosquito nets or providing clean water.

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