Research Seminar

William MacAskill: Should I donate now, or invest and donate later?

Date: 28 September 2016
Time: 10:00–12:00

William MacAskill, Associate Professor in Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford

Suppose you are a philanthropist, and want to help others by as much as possible with your money. Should you donate that money to whatever charity is most effective right now? Or should you invest the money, increasing the amount you have to donate at a later date? If the former is true, then why shouldn't you also take out a loan in order that you can give even more today? If the latter is true, then won't it always be true - won't it always be the case that you ought to save your money in order to donate more at a later date? 

This talk will use economic and philosophical analysis to provide a normative model of the relevant considerations relative to giving now vs later, and discuss qualitatively what the implications of that model are in the world today.

Read more about William

Listen to William discuss effective altruism.


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