Benefit-Cost Analysis Center


The core aim of the Benefit-Cost Analysis Center is to improve the understanding and use of benefit-cost analysis (BCA) as a decision-making tool. Our research and outreach is geared toward:

  • Improving and standardizing benefit-cost analysis methodology
  • Strengthening relationships between institutions that use it
  • Disseminating information about its use and misuse
  • Expanding its use when appropriate

This involves working with a variety of government agencies and academic professionals whose work involves benefit-cost analysis. We accomplish this through:

  • Working with the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • Convening with government benefit-cost analysts at the federal, state, and local levels
  • Publishing academic papers on benefit-cost analysis methodology

News and Announcements

Save the Date: Developing Standards for Benefit-Cost Analysis, sponsored by the Benefit-Cost Analysis Center and funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, to be held October 18-19, 2010 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C. More information will be posted as it becomes available. Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Michael Greenstone, 3M Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Former Chief Economist, White House Chief of Economic Advisors.  By invitation only.

2nd Annual Short Course on Comparative Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness: Methods and Measurement,  June 24-25, 2010, Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts. Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) presents this acclaimed 2-day course that aims to provide participants with knowledge and hands-on experience in the nuts and bolts of the methods employed in the practices of evidence-based and value-based approaches. Learn more about this conference

The conference summary of the Unleashing the Power fo Social Benefit-Cost Analysis:  Removing Barriers conference is now available online.  This summary, compiled by Benefit-Cost Analysis Center staff, summarizes the proceedings of the conference and highlights main points of presentation and discussion.  A shorter document, summarizing the conference highights and future directions of the field, is also available.   

On December 3, 2009, the White House Council on Environmental Quality released a proposal to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for their review that would significantly change the principles and guidelines that govern America’s water resource planning. CEQ is taking public comment on the new draft Principles and Guidelines for 90 days. Find out more about the proposal or submit a comment.

The Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, with Editor-in-Chief Scott Farrow, is now accepting submissions.  The first issue is schedule to be published mid-2010. See the JBCA Flyer (242 KB PDF) for more information.

The President’s FY 2011 budget includes a statement on Benefit-Cost Analysis. The statement is located in the Performance and Management section.

Learn more about the recent conferences supported by the Benefit-Cost Analysis Center:

Read an interview with Benefit-Cost Analysis Center Founder and Director, Richard O. Zerbe, Jr.:

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Find out more about what benefit-cost analysis is and draft papers on principles and standards for it.  You can also contact us at bcac@u.washington.edu or 206.616.4090.