2008 Annual Meeting of the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis

The inaugural meeting of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis was held June 25-26, 2008 at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C. The conference featured presentations by scholars and practitioners of benefit-cost analysis, as well as the formal adoption of the Society's constitution, election of the president and vice president, and nominations for the inaugural board of directors. Presentations were largely plenary and included topics such as use of benefit-cost analysis by states, localities, and the federal government; uncertainty and risk; time and quality of life; and methods.

Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, June 25

  • Lunch with Keynote Speech "The Power of Measuring Social Benefits" by Jonathan Fanton, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Panel 1 - States, Localities, and Benefit-Cost Analysis
    Panel Chair: Ken Acks of the Cost Benefit Group
    • "Regulatory Regime Change under Federalism: Do States Matter More?" by W. Gray of Clark University and R. Shadbegian of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
    • "The Net Social Benefit of Transforming Six Public Housing Projects into Mixed-Income Communities" by T. Boston of the Georgia Institute of Technology and L. Boston of EuQuant
    • "A Retrospective Assessment of the Pittsburgh Midfield Airport Expansion" by J. Sturgis of Carnegie Mellon University
    • "Variations on a Theme: Benefit-Cost Analysis and Environmental Regulation in Pennsylvania" by W. Delavan of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Panel 2 - Uncertainty and Risk
    Panel Chair: Scott Farrow of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    • "How to Integrate Risk Assessment and Benefit-Cost Analysis" by A. Jessup, C. Nardinelli, D. Mancini, and L. Bush of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Office of Management and Budget
    • "Early Identification and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease: Desirable Social and Fiscal Outcomes" by D. Weimer and M. Sager of the University of Wisconsin
    • "The Importance of Uncertainty in a Benefit-Cost Analysis of Flood Proofing Policy Decisions for Adaptation to Sea-level Rise" by M. Schultz of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and P. Fischbeck, and M. Small of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Carnegie Mellon University
    • "Homeland Security Benefit-Cost Analysis: Small Steps Forward, Giant Leaps To Go" by E. Shapiro of Rutgers University
  • Reception and Open-Poster Session
    • "The Costs and Benefits of a Green Mixed-Use Brownfield Redevelopment Project in New York" by K. Acks of the Cost Benefit Group
    • "The Fatal Flaw of Benefit-Cost Analysis: The Problem of Person-Altering Consequences" by G. Cresip of Southern Methodist University
    • "Benefit-Cost Analysis in Foreign Direct Investment: Trends, Limitations, and Prospects" by N. Dasgupta of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    • "Random Error and Simulation Models with an Unobserved Dependent Variable as Applied to the Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act" by S. Farrow of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    • "A Full Cost Analysis of Using Backup Generators to Meet Peak Electricity Demand" by E. Gilmore, P. Adams, and L. Lave of Carnegie Mellon University
    • "Riparian Buffers and Hedonic Prices: A Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Residential Property Values in the Neuse River Basin" by O. Gin, C. Landry, and G. Meyer of East Carolina University
    • "Different Measures of the Value of Changes in Risks: The Reference State Matters" by J. Knetsch of Simon Fraser University
    • "Cost-Benefit Analysis of Mercury Control Technologies for Virginia" by V. Satyal of the Virgina Department of Environmental Quality
    • "Mapping Environmental Preferences for Ambiguous Natural Resources" by S. Vajjhala, A. John, and D. Evans of Resources for the Future and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    • "The Relevance of the Scitovsky Paradox" by A. Schmitz of the University of Florida
    • "Getting the Sulpher out of Gasoline: Costs and Benefits" by G. Jenkins of Queen's University

Thursday, June 26

  • Panel 3 - Federal Practice
    Panel Chair: Betsy Cody of the Congressional Research Service
    • "Benefit-Cost Analysis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention" by S. Grosse of the Centers for Disease Control
    • "Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Performance of Homeland Security Spending" by J. Ghez of the RAND Corporation
    • "Agency Capabilities and Performance in Applying Benefit-Cost Analysis" by R. Belzer of the Regulatory Checkbook
    • "The Influence of Economists in the Federal health, Safety and Environmental Agencies" by R. Williams of George Mason University
  • Panel 4 - International Issues and Applications
    Panel Char: Jack Knetsch of Simon Fraser University
    • "Potential Practices for Integrating International Impacts into Regulatory Impact Analyses" by D. Mancini of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget
    • "Socioeconomic and Financial Evaluation of Infrastructure and Transport Projects with Environmental Impacts" by C. Leon, M. Ruiz, and M. Romero of the University of Las Palmas
    • "Cost-Effectiveness Methods and Practice in Education: A Critical Review of Program Evaluation in Developing Countries" by M. Pirog, K. Krutilla, T. Guzman, and C. Dew of Indiana University
    • "Benefit-Cost Analysis and International Collective Action: The Case of Climate Change" by D. Cole of Indiana University
  • Panel 5 - Time, Mortality, and Quality of Life
    • "Incorporating Nonmarket Time Into Benefit-Cost Analyses of Social Programs" by D. Greenberg of the University of Maryland and P. Robins of the University of Miami
    • "Changing Profiles: Lags and the Social Rate of Time Preference" by Topic by K. Patora of the Washington State Department of Ecology
    • "Should Agencies Value Mortality Risk Reductions Differently Depending on the Context?" by L. Robinson
    • "Valuation of Quality of Life Losses Associated with Nonfatal Injury: Insights from Jury Verdict Data" by D. Aiken and W. Zamula of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • Membership Meeting of the Society For Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • Panel 6 - Methods Pushing Boundaries
    Panel Chair: David Weimer of the University of Wisconsin
    • "Policy Establishment Costs: The Normative Implications for Benefit-Cost Analysis" by K. Krutilla of Indiana University
    • "Environmental Decisions without Benefit-Cost Analysis: A Ranking-Based Alternative" by J. Horowtiz and J. Quiggin of the University of Maryland-College Park
    • "The Irrelevance of the Compensation Test" by R. Zerbe of the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington
    • "Using Benefit Cost Analysis to Assess Nonprofit Performance" by J. Cordes and C. Coventry of George Washington University