How Well Does the U.S. Government Do Benefit-Cost Analysis?
AbstractTo make prudent recommendations for improving the use of benefit-cost analysis in policy settings, some measures of how well it is actually done are essential. This article develops new insights on the potential usefulness of government benefit-cost analysis by examining how it is actually performed in the United States.We assess the quality of a particularly rich sample of benefit-cost analyses of federal regulations. The data set we use for assessing the quality of regulatory analysis is the largest assembled to date for this purpose. The seventy-four analyses we examine span the Reagan administration, the George H. W. Bush administration, and the Clinton administrations. The article is the first to assess systematically how government benefit-cost analysis has changed over time.There are three key findings. First, a significant percentage of the analyses in all three administrations does not provide some very basic economic information, such as information on net benefits and policy alternatives. For example, over 70 percent of the analyses in the sample failed to provide any quantitative information on net benefits. Second, there is no clear trend in the quality of benefit-cost analysis across administrations. Third, there is a great deal of variation in the quality of individual benefit-cost analyses. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Review of Environmental Economics and Policy.
Volume (Year): 1 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (Summer)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://reep.oxfordjournals.org/
More information through EDIRC
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Harrington, Winston & Morgenstern, Richard & Velez-Lopez. Daniel, 2012. "Tools for assessing the costs and benefits of green growth : the U.S. and Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6242, The World Bank.
- Scott Farrow, . "Random Error and Simulation Models With an Unobserved Dependent Variable as applied to the Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-103, UMBC Department of Economics, revised 26 Jan 2008.
- Robert W. Hahn & Paul C. Tetlock, 2008. "Has Economic Analysis Improved Regulatory Decisions?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 67-84, Winter.
- Scott Farrow, 2008. "Improving the Regulatory Analysis of the Cooling Water Intake Structure Rule: What Does an Economist Want?," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-102, UMBC Department of Economics.
- Michael Makowsky & Richard Wagner, 2009. "From scholarly idea to budgetary institution: the emergence of cost-benefit analysis," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 57-70, March.
- Scott Farrow, 2009. "Incorporating Equity in Regulatory and Benefit-Cost Analysis Using Risk Based Preferences," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 09-117, UMBC Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.