SBCA 2020 European Conference

Request for Statements of Interest in Hosting the 2020 and 2021 Annual European Conference of The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis

The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis held its inaugural European conference in November 2019 in Toulouse, France. The success of this effort has encouraged us to make the conference an annual event. Accordingly, we are looking for organizations that conduct or use benefit-cost analysis—including universities where faculty work to develop and apply the techniques of benefit-cost analysis- to host the conferences for 2020 and 2021.

Based on the 2019 experience, we expect that the 2020 and 2021 conferences will each attract at least 100 people and have at least 50 speakers. The conferences are expected to be held over a two-day period sometime in October or November. We also expect that there will be a mix of plenary sessions and 3-4 smaller concurrent breakout sessions. There will also be a lunch. To get more details about the format and venue for the 2019 meeting, please see the conference website:

Interested organizations should submit a statement of interest to the Society by February 3, 2020. The statement should include the following information:

  • Name of organization that would host the meeting, the individual who would lead the conference development and be the primary point of contact for communication between the Society and host organization, and a brief description of the organization’s production or use of benefit-cost analysis
  • Interest in hosting the 2020 and/or 2021 meeting
  • Ideas for conference themes or the selection of such themes
  • Description of the facilities where the conference would be held
  • Proposed financial plan for the conference (see additional details below)

Statements of interest should provide as many details as feasible. However, given the dynamic nature of the benefit-cost and public-policy fields and the Society’s interest in holding the best possible conference, the Society recognizes that many conference details will have to be worked out in the future. The Society therefore expects to work closely with the selected organizations to build on the statements of interest to shape the conferences.

The Society will select the two host organizations for 2020 and 2021 based on the combination of leadership, facilities, and finances that best ensures the success of the conferences and promotes the Society’s mission. The selected organizations will be notified by mid-February 2020. If possible, the Society would prefer that someone from the host organizations attend our annual conference in Washington, DC. on March 16-17, 2020 in order to learn more about the Society and its members, and to discuss with its officers and Board of Directors plans for the European conferences. The Society will provide a complimentary registration for one person from each selected organization to help facilitate attendance.

Background on SBCA

The SBCA works to improve the theory and practice of benefit-cost analysis and support evidence-based policy decisions. Our members include scholars and practitioners from around the world, from government, academia, nonprofits and private industry. They represent numerous disciplines such as economics, law, engineering, public policy, decision science and natural science.

We address a wide range of policy areas, including criminal justice, education, energy, environmental quality, homeland security, poverty, public health, transportation and many other topics. We work with a broad set of methods, including benefit-cost analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, risk-benefit analysis, applied welfare economic analysis and damage assessments.

Our primary goals include:

  • Bringing together individuals from diverse disciplines and countries, and providing them opportunities to foster collaboration and exchange information, ideas, and methodologies related to the practice and theory of benefit-cost analysis and applied welfare economics.
  • Encouraging applications of benefit-cost analysis and applied welfare economics, and promoting dialogue between practitioners and others who are interested in benefit-cost analysis.
  • Facilitating the development and dissemination of knowledge about benefit-cost and applied welfare analysis methods and applications.
  • Developing and updating standards of practice for benefit-cost analysis and applied welfare economics.
  • Fostering methods to improve communication and consideration of benefit-cost methods and results.

SBCA was founded in 2007 with a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The Society has more than 330 paid members. In addition to the European conference, the Society holds an annual conference in Washington, D.C. and runs the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis (Cambridge University Press). The Society is governed by a Board of Directors with the support of many volunteers and a professional management firm, Virtual, Inc.

Complete details about the Society and our upcoming 2020 annual meeting can be found on our website:

Financing the European Conference

The Society expects that the European Conference will be largely self-financing. For planning purposes, we assume that the registration fee for 2020 and 2021 will be US$200. That would imply a budget of US$20,000 if the conference hits its expected attendance of 100 people. The Society will provide support for collecting and processing registration fees and can provide web-based support for managing the submission of conference presentation abstracts. The Society will also actively market the conference. We expect that the host organization will take the lead in developing the themes, selecting the papers, recruiting plenary speakers, session chairs, and any discussants, and arranging for the venue and associated services. However, the Society can recruit volunteers to help with many of those types of conference planning activities.

To facilitate planning and communication between the host organizations and the Society, we expect that each conference will have two co-chairs. The Society will identify one of the co-chairs in early 2020. The host organization may identify the other co-chair as part of their statement of interest or lay out a plan for selecting that person.

The Society can also work with the host organization to look for sponsors for lunches or specific events. Of course, the Society would welcome financial support for the conference from the host organization.

Questions and Statements of Interest should be emailed to:

Jim Cudahy

Executive Director

Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis