The world’s most effective development intervention: life jackets?

More than 1,300 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean in boats from North Africa in the last few weeks alone. Most of the people who risk everything to make the crossing come from places like Eritrea, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia and other African countries where the job market is decimated.


Actually, the world’s most effective intervention would probably be plane tickets and visas (Michael Clemens has made a case). But since most OECD governments will not do that, maybe the effective altruists out there should be providing speedboats and life jackets. That is a cynical and over-simplistic thing to say, but utilitarian calculus is utilitarian calculus.

Out of curiosity, what are the safer ways for a non-governmental actor to promote migration?

23 thoughts on “The world’s most effective development intervention: life jackets?

  1. A good way to promote immigration is to give an immigrant/refugee a job. It will solidify their legal status and strengthen their right to family reunion, as well as offer other immigrants an “anchor point”.

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