On Balance

The opinions expressed in "On Balance" posts are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis or other organization. The Society is open to proposals for posts on opposing views.

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Blog - Call for Submissions

“On Balance”– the Blog of the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis – provides a venue for members and other practitioners to share their research, experiences, and perspectives on various issues relevant to benefit-cost analysis. We encourage all interested in benefit cost analysis to submit pitches or completed draft blog posts.

Before submitting your pitch or draft blog post, please review Submission Guidelines for Authors, which also includes a description of sample feature types and lengths, and a style guide for posts.

Pitches and draft blog posts may be emailed to Fran Sussman, the editor of On Balance, at info@benefitcostanalysis.org. Please include your name, email address, and a two to three sentence bio. 

Read the Latest Blog

On Balance: Social Welfare Effects of Smoking Bans in Bars and Restaurants by Anne Burton

Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s report linking smoking cigarettes to adverse health outcomes, numerous federal, state, and local governments have passed regulations designed to reduce the prevalence of smoking and related externalities. Examples of such regulations include cigarette taxes, public health campaigns, minimum purchasing ages for tobacco, and – the focus of this post – smoking bans in bars and restaurants. While the links between smoking and health are clear, the effects of these bans on social welfare, which includes other types of risky behavior as well as smoking, are less well understood. This post describes work-in-progress to address some of the gaps.

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On Balance

The opinions expressed in "On Balance" posts are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis or other organization. The Society is open to proposals for posts on opposing views.

On Balance: Social Welfare Effects of Smoking Bans in Bars and Restaurants

2 weeks ago

On Balance: Using Retrospective Analysis to Increase Policy Learning in Europe

3 weeks ago

 February 27, 2019

 By: Chiara Pancotti

 A retrospective exercise is an opportunity to learn and improve. With this in mind, an international consortium led by CSIL (Centre for Industrial Studies) recently developed an evaluation framework to carry out a retrospective assessment of infrastructure projects in several environmental sectors. The framework was developed as part of a study being carried out on behalf of the European Commission (Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy) to look retrospectively at 10 of the major infrastructural projects co-financed by the Commission over the period 2000 to 2013. While it will come as no surprise that, in retrospect, forecasts are imperfect, learning from mistakes or unexpected outcomes may improve the quality of forecasts. In turn, better forecasts may lead to better policy-making. This post reports some preliminary results from the study; more complete results will be presented at the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis Conference in March 2019.

Anne BurtonMarch 6, 2019

By: Anne Burton

Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s report linking smoking cigarettes to adverse health outcomes, numerous federal, state, and local governments have passed regulations designed to reduce the prevalence of smoking and related externalities. Examples of such regulations include cigarette taxes, public health campaigns, minimum purchasing ages for tobacco, and – the focus of this post – smoking bans in bars and restaurants. While the links between smoking and health are clear, the effects of these bans on social welfare, which includes other types of risky behavior as well as smoking, are less well understood. This post describes work-in-progress to address some of the gaps. Preliminary results will be presented at the Annual Conference and Meeting of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis in March 2019.