What is global-priorities-relevant research?

On this page we link to and discuss on answers to the questions, Which research is most impactful? Which research should be prioritized?


Syllabi and course outlines that address global prioritization


Those listed below are at least somewhat tied to Effective Altruism.

Phil Trammel: "Topics in Economic Theory & Global Prioritization" - 2023 slides/syllabus/references

See also

Other representative and relevant syllabi

(To be included here)

Funder/organization research agendas

We next consider organizations that take a broad focus on helping humans, animals, and the future of civilization. Some of these have explicitly set priorities and research agendas, although the level of specificity varies. Most of the organizations below have some connections to Effective Altruism; over time, we aim to also look beyond this EA focus.

GPI research agenda – considerations

GPI focuses on prioritization research—what to prioritize and why; how to make these decisions. They focus less on how to implement improvements and interventions.

The agenda is divided into "The longtermism paradigm" and "General issues in global prioritisation."

The agenda focuses largely on formal theory (in philosophy, economics, and decision science) and, to a lesser extent., methodology. They aim to identify and inform "crucial considerations," and rarely focus on specific impact assessments.

Nonetheless, the agenda cites some empirical and directly policy-relevant work, and there are suggestions (e.g., from Eva Vivalt) that they might move more towards this in the future.

GPI research agenda – categories and content

"Research agenda draft for GPI economics"

Open Philanthropy

Social Science Research Topics for Global Health and Wellbeing; posted on the EA Forum as "Social science research we'd like to see on global health and wellbeing"

Social Science Research Topics for Animal Welfare posted on the EA Forum as Social science research we'd like to see on animal welfare

“Technical and Philosophical Questions That Might Affect Our Grantmaking” is a fairly brief discussion and overview linking mostly to OP-funded research.

Other agendas and discussions

To be expanded, cataloged, and considered in more detail

Happier Lives Institute research agenda ("Research Priorities," 2021): A particularly well organized discussion. Each section has a list of relevant academic literature, some of which is recent and some of which is applied or empirical.

Animal Charity Evaluators: Their "Methodology" and "Research briefs" are particularly helpful, and connect to a range of academic and policy research

Also consider

Giving What We Can's "high-impact causes": simple discussions of the cause they prioritize, backed by numbers and links/citations

Rethink Priorities 2021 strategy (forum post): Some directional suggestions in the "Our current plans" section under "Our research going forward is expected to focus on:"

Centre for Exploratory Altruism Research: Their "Findings" page considering relative cost-effectiveness; generally a shallow review/BOTEC spreadsheet approach. "CEARCH attempts to identify a cause’s marginal expected value (MEV)."

General advice

Psychology and well-being

Economics: overviews and prioritization exercises

Reinstein's slides/outline of this field and opportunities

See also (internal/Unjournal discussions)

Research scoping discussion spaces

Last updated