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Principles And Standards For Benefit–Cost Analysis

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Principles And Standards For Benefit–Cost Analysis

Scott O. Farrow , Richard Zerbe, Jr.

Edited by Scott Farrow, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), Editor, Journal of Benefit–Cost Analysis and Guest Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, US and Richard O. Zerbe, Jr., Daniel J. Evans Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Director, Benefit–Cost Analysis Center, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Washington, US

2013 464 pp Hardback 978 1 78195 343 3

Hardback $170.00 on-line price $153.00


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‘Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis is well worth reading. The volume reproduces some chapters previously published online in the Journal of Benefit–Cost Analysis alongside new material that has not yet appeared in print, and does so in a logical and appealing way. Even the several chapters with which I disagreed made me think hard about my own views. And thinking hard is a good thing!’
– Paul R. Portney, University of Arizona, US

Contributors: D.F. Burgess, J.H. Cook, T.B. Davis, S. Farrow, N. Garland, J.K. Hammitt, L.A. Karoly, H.A. Klaiber, J.B. Loomis, J.R. Lott, Jr, L.A. Robinson, T. Scott, V.K. Smith, A.R. Vining, W.K. Viscusi, D.L. Weimer, R.O. Zerbe, Jr.

Further information

Benefit–cost analysis informs which policies or programs most benefit society when implemented by governments and institutions around the world. This volume brings together leading researchers and practitioners to recommend strategies and standards to improve the consistency and credibility of such analyses, assisting analysts of all types in achieving a greater uniformity of practice.

Although new analytical approaches are constantly being used and tested, this book supports the emergence of a professional culture adhering to a set of principles and standards that can be used to identify useful analytical processes and to discard less useful ones. Contributors to this volume come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include authors of leading textbooks, editors of journals, former government officials, and practitioners whose analyses have shaped decisions about education, the environment, security, income distribution, and other vital social and economic policies.

Students and professors of public sector economics will find much of interest in this groundbreaking book. Practitioners working in government, non-profit organizations, and international institutions, including welfare economists, policy analysts, environmentalists, engineers, and others will also benefit from this volume’s sophisticated and practical recommendations.

Full table of contents


Introduction: Professionalizing Benefit–Cost Analysis
Scott Farrow and Richard O. Zerbe, Jr.

1. An Assessment of Important Issues Concerning the Application of Benefit–Cost Analysis to Social Policy
Aidan R. Vining and David L. Weimer

2. Toward Standardization of Benefit–Cost Analysis of Early Childhood Interventions
Lynn A. Karoly

3. Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis of Public Health Preparedness and Pandemic Mitigation Programs
Joseph H. Cook

4. Principles and Standards for the Benefit–Cost Analysis of Crime
John R. Lott, Jr.

5. Towards Principles and Standards for the Benefit–Cost Analysis of Safety
Scott Farrow and W. Kip Viscusi

6. Developing General Equilibrium Benefit Analyses for Social Programs: An Introduction and Example
H. Allen Klaiber and V. Kerry Smith

7. Appropriate Discounting for Benefit–Cost Analysis
David F. Burgess and Richard O. Zerbe, Jr.

8. Ethical Benefit–Cost Analysis as Art and Science: Ten Rules for Benefit–Cost Analysis
Richard O. Zerbe, Jr.

9. Incorporating Distributional Issues into Benefit–Cost Analysis: Why, How, and Two Empirical Examples Using Non-market Valuation
John B. Loomis

10. Behavioral Economics and the Conduct of Benefit–Cost Analysis: Towards Principles and Standards
Lisa A. Robinson and James K. Hammitt

11. Conclusion: Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis
Richard O. Zerbe, Jr., Tyler Blake Davis, Nancy Garland and Tyler Scott

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