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News and Working Papers

March 7, 2018 

By Elisabeth Gilmore

As a teacher of benefit-cost analysis (BCA), I find that current events often provide "teachable moments". The review by the current administration of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a cornerstone of the Obama era climate change regulations, is one such event. Federal regulations that may have significant impacts on segments of the economy are subject to an assessment that contains a BCA. The CPP adopted under the Obama administration was accompanied by a finding that benefits exceeded costs. However, the revised estimates produced by the Trump administration indicate that costs exceed benefits. Each year, many students in my class question the usefulness of BCA in promoting good policy, often asking whether the BCA framework is too flexible, and therefore meaningless. Does this example support their skepticism? I am anticipating some tough questions from my students and here’s how I plan to answer them.As a teacher of benefit-cost analysis (BCA), I find that current events often provide "teachable moments". The review by the current administration of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a cornerstone of the Obama era climate change regulations, is one such event. Federal regulations that may have significant impacts on segments of the economy are subject to an assessment that contains a BCA. The CPP adopted under the Obama administration was accompanied by a finding that benefits exceeded costs. However, the revised estimates produced by the Trump administration indicate that costs exceed benefits. Each year, many students in my class question the usefulness of BCA in promoting good policy, often asking whether the BCA framework is too flexible, and therefore meaningless. Does this example support their skepticism? I am anticipating some tough questions from my students and here’s how I plan to answer them.

February 12, 2017

By Barry Friedman 

The Journal of Benefit Cost Analysis and the Policing Project at New York University School of Law teamed up to host a symposium on the use of benefit-cost analysis in a domain in which it is all too absent: policing. (Policing tends to have many definitions, but generally we mean it here to refer to any use of force or surveillance of the populace for reasons of achieving public safety.) The goal of this Symposium on Benefit-Cost Analysis of Policing Practices, and the conference that preceded it, is to interest more scholars in working in this vital field, and to identify and begin to tackle some of the methodological challenges the field faces.

 

The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis (SBCA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Drohan Management Group (DMG) as the organization’s new management service and support team. The selection was made through a competitive procurement process. DMG will provide overall management for the Society, effective January 1, 2018.

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December 8, 2017

By Stuart Guterman

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) plays an important role in the federal legislative process. CBO’s score on a given bill—that is, its estimate of how it would affect the federal budget deficit—can determine whether Congress decides to go forward with the bill, modify it to get a more favorable estimate, or simply drop it. Given their importance, debates over CBO’s scores and the methods they use to produce them can be as controversial as the bills that are being considered. While this controversy can be politically motivated (with advocates on either side of an issue arguing for a score that is more favorable to their position), it also stems from limited understanding of CBO’s intended role in the process—and reflects the difficulty of conducting analyses of benefits and costs in the context of policy decisions.

October 25, 2017

We welcome papers submitted by SBCA members on topics in benefit-cost analysis for circulation as part of this working paper series. The Society shares these papers as a service to its members and the benefit-cost analysis community. The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis does not edit the papers before sharing and inclusion of a working paper here does not constitute endorsement by the Society of any of its content.  SBCA members interested in submitting their working papers for future issues may contact Erika Dowd at info@benefitcostanalysis.org

Title: Cost-benefit analysis for flood risk management and water governance in the Netherlands; an overview of one century

Link: http://www.cpb.nl/en/publication/cost-benefit-analysis-for-flood-risk-management-and-water-governance-in-the-netherlands-overview

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