Workshops

Faculty include world-class authorities from the field of benefit-cost analysis. To enhance the online learning experience, each workshop will be spread over multiple days and provide opportunities for direct engagement with faculty.

 

 

 

 

2022 Workshops

 

The live event has ended.

October 27 & 28, 2022
11:00 am - 1:30 pm
US Eastern Daylight Savings Time

Online

Valuing Time Savings in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This workshop will expose participants to the theory and practice of incorporating changes in time use in benefit-cost analysis, with a focus on applications in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The instructors will highlight why cost-benefit and development practitioners and researchers should care about the value of time, and provide an overview of existing literature that has examined the value of time savings in LMIC settings.

The course will then discuss theoretical aspects related to time valuation, and describe approaches to measurement of time use, including sources for secondary data and primary data collection techniques including recent innovations. Time valuation approaches based on stated and revealed preference techniques will be considered, and will be demonstrated through applications in different sectors—e.g., water, energy, health and transportation. Finally, the course will provide best practices for benefit-transfer, and a framework for determining when benefit-transfer should be augmented with primary data collection. All through the workshop, limitations and gaps in current practice and understanding will be highlighted.

Fees

  • Regular registration: $300 per person
  • Low-and middle-income country residents: $100 per person (Based on World Bank Classification
  • Students (Full-time): $50 per person

Meet the Presenters:

  • Dale Whittington, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Joseph Cook, Associate Professor, Washington State University
  • Marc Jeuland, Associate Professor, Duke University
  • Maya Chandrasekaran, PhD Candidate, Duke University
Purchase recordings here

The live event has ended.

October 4  & 5, 2022
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
US Eastern Daylight Savings Time

Online

Benefit-Cost Analysis for U.S. Regulations co-sponsored by the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA)

Benefit-cost analysis is used around the world to assess regulatory impacts. This workshop introduces the use of Benefit-Cost Analysis for Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIAs) in the Federal government. The topics will include issues of identifying the market failure, establishing the correct baseline, choosing the policy options, estimating benefits, estimating costs, and identifying transfers. The focus will be on analyses of U.S. health, and safety regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with further examples from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the last two decades. The concepts and practices we'll discuss are equally applicable to analyses conducted in other policy areas and in other countries or at a sub-national level. The workshop will be structured as an overarching presentation with examples from past RIAs used as practical example to be discussed by the participants. This workshop is intended for both economists and other practitioners who have a working knowledge of Benefit-Cost Analysis and the general concept of measuring welfare effects. This working knowledge will then be applied to the Regulatory Impact Analysis context. The presenters are seasoned practitioners with substantial experience in conducting these analyses for federal regulatory actions. This workshop is intended for both economists and other practitioners who have a working knowledge of Benefit-Cost Analysis and the general concept of measuring welfare effects. 

Fees

  • Regular registration: $300 per person
  • Low-and middle-income country residents: $100 per person (Based on World Bank Classification
  • Students (Full-time): $50 per person

Meet the Presenters:

  • Aliya Sassi earned her PhD in Economics at the University of New Hampshire. She is a Senior Economist at the U.S. FDA where she serves as a subject matter expert, project lead, and economic consultant to top level management and develops benefit-cost analyses of FDA regulations. Her areas of expertise include regulatory impact analysis, food safety, international trade, and economic modeling. Previously, she has detailed as a Senior Economist at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as an Assistant Director of Economics at FDA and taught economics at the University of New Hampshire.
     
  • Lizzi Quin earned her PhD in Economics at Michigan State University. At the FDA she has developed benefit-cost analyses for drug, medical device, animal drug, biologics, and tobacco regulations. Previously, she has detailed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is currently an Assistant Director of Economics at FDA and oversees benefit-costs analyses covering all FDA-regulated products. 
     
  • Chris Dockins earned his PhD in Economics at Duke University, focusing on Environmental Economics and Public Finance. At the EPA he has helped develop benefit-cost analyses for EPA's air, water, hazardous waste, and chemicals regulations, performed and published research on related topics, and directed a division of scientists in EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics. He also teaches benefit-cost analysis at Johns Hopkins University and environmental economics at the University of Maryland.
     
  • Charles Griffiths earned his PhD in Economics at the University of Maryland. At the EPA he has worked on the estimation of the social cost of carbon and helped develop benefit-cost analysis for EPA’s air, water, and chemical regulation. He has conducted research on climate change, health risks, water regulations, air regulations, and voluntary programs and was a Senior Economist for Environment, Energy, and Agriculture at the President's Council of Economic Advisors. He also teaches benefit-cost analysis at Johns Hopkins University and environmental economics at the University of Maryland.
     
  • Aaron Kearsley did his graduate work in Economics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Aaron is a Senior Economist at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services within the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, which reviews all regulatory impact analyses for the Department and its agencies prior to publication. He was previously an economist at FDA, specializing in drug and tobacco regulations.
Purchase recordings here

The live event has ended.

September 9, 2022
9:30 -11:30 am and
1:00 -3:00 pm
US Eastern Daylight Savings Time

Online

Benefit-Cost Analysis for Beginners 

This short course will provide an introduction for 'beginners' who have not previously had formal instruction in BCA. It is designed to help those who encounter BCA to better understand its purpose and methods as well as those who are curious about how it might be useful in their work. Although some prior exposure to economics would be helpful, the workshop is designed to be accessible to a general audience. Upon completion of the workshop, attendees should have a clear understanding of the purpose, underlying concepts, strengths, and weaknesses of BCA.
 
The workshop will compare BCA to other analytical approaches commonly employed by policy analysts to put it into perspective. It will also introduce and explain a number of key BCA concepts including standing (whose costs and benefits count), incremental costs and benefits (clear alternatives to current policy), opportunity cost (what we give up to do the alternative), willingness to pay (how much people value the impacts of the alternative), 'shadow prices' (monetizing impacts), discounting (taking account of the timing of costs and benefits), and sensitivity analysis (taking account of uncertainty). Several examples of BCAs will be distributed prior to the workshop to provide illustrations of concepts and facilitate discussion among attendees.

Fees

  • Regular registration: $300 per person
  • Low-and middle-income country residents: $100 per person (Based on World Bank Classification
  • Students (Full-time): $50 per person

Meet the Presenters:

  • Glenn C. Blomquist is Carl F. Pollard Professor of Health Economics and Professor of Economics and Public Policy Emeritus at the University of Kentucky.  His work deals with valuation of risks to human health, urban and environmental amenities, and BCA. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Latvia and visiting professor at Stockholm School of Economics and University of Chicago. He is the former editor of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis. He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A., Ohio State University, M.A., and the University of Chicago, Ph.D. 
  • David L. Weimer is Edwin E. Witte Professor of Political Economy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His recent research addresses topics in health policy and governance. He is the author of Behavioral Economics for Cost-Benefit Analysis (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and co-author of Cost-Benefit Analysis 5th ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2018). He served as president of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis (2013) and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (2006) and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.  He is a graduate of the University of Rochester and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley
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The live event has ended.

June 8 & 9, 2022
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
US Eastern Daylight Savings Time

Online

Addressing Uncertainty in Regulatory Impact Analysis

Estimates of the costs and benefits of proposed regulations are inherently uncertain. To develop such estimates, analysts must construct models attempting to predict the future. They rely on information that may be subject to limitations related to the quality of the methods used to collect the data, and the extent to which the data address the same population, industries, or geographic areas as the regulation. The models also require many assumptions, such as how regulated entities will respond to the regulation and the likely future state of the world.

A critical challenge for analysts is to clearly describe the key sources of uncertainty associated with these estimates, in qualitative or quantitative terms. The goal is to ensure that decision-makers and other stakeholders understand the extent to which uncertainty – in data, models, and assumptions – affects the main analytic conclusions. A well-developed presentation of uncertainty can aid decision-makers in understanding the confidence they should have in the results and the magnitude of any bias.

This workshop brings together experts and practitioners with diverse perspectives to discuss the need for uncertainty analysis, along with basic concepts, commonly applied tools and methods, and best practices for communicating results. Some of the tools we will discuss include scenario analysis; Monte Carlo simulation; event trees, probability trees, decision trees; sensitivity analysis and break-even analysis; and expert elicitation. It is targeted on those interested in conducting these analyses and those interested in better understanding the strengths and limitations of analyses they review. Prior to the workshop, participants will receive a list of optional readings. The workshop itself will consist of a series of presentations and case studies, with ample time for discussion. 

Fees

  • Regular registration: $300 per person
  • Low-and middle-income country residents: $100 per person (Based on World Bank Classification
  • Students (Full-time): $50 per person

Meet the Presenters:

  • Jennifer Baxter is Principal at Industrial Economics, Incorporated with over 20 years of experience designing and conducting economic analyses of regulations for numerous Federal agencies. Jennifer has drafted guidance on best practices for characterizing uncertainty in RIAs. 

  • Dr. Robin Dillon-Merrill is Professor and Area Coordinator for Operations and Information Management at McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. Dr. Dillon-Merrill conducts research and teaches courses focused on explaining how and why people make decisions under conditions of uncertainty and risk, and has served as a risk analysis expert on several National Academies Committees.
     
  • Aaron Kearsley is Senior Economist for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Aaron has conducted economic analyses and uncertainty analyses of regulations promulgated by FDA and other HHS Agencies and acts as the HHS Departmental lead on benefit-cost analysis, reviewing RIAs and providing guidance aimed at standardizing best practices for developing RIAs.
Purchase recordings here

The live event has ended.

May 9 - 13, 2022
Session Times
11:00 am – 1:30 pm (MWF)
8:00 am - 9:00 am (Tuesday)

Optional Discussion (tentative)
12:00 noon - 1:00 pm (Tues, Thurs)

US Eastern Daylight Savings Time

Online

Benefit-Cost Analysis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

This workshop addresses the use of benefit-cost analysis to evaluate policies for improving health and longevity in low- and middle-income countries. It builds on the Reference Case Guidelines for Benefit-Cost Analysis in Global Health and Development funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The workshop combines presentations with substantial opportunities for interaction and discussion, including case studies. It is designed for those with relatively little experience conducting or reviewing these analyses, although some familiarity with economic evaluation is desirable. Participants will develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts that underlie benefit-cost analysis, consider its advantages and limitations, explore its major components and what each should include, and gain familiarity with default estimates for valuing changes in time use and in health and longevity.

Fees

  • Regular registration: $450 per person
  • Low-and middle-income country residents: $150 per person (Based on World Bank Classification
  • Students (Full-time): $75 per person

Meet the Presenters (tentative, subject to change):

  • Lisa A. Robinson, Deputy Director, Center for Health Decision Science; Senior Research Scientist, Center for Health Decision Science and Center for Risk Analysis; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • Maureen Cropper, Distinguished University Professor of Economics, University of Maryland; Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future.

  • James K. Hammitt, Director, Harvard Center for Risk Analysis; Professor of Economics and Decision Sciences, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Affiliated Faculty, Toulouse School of Economics.
  • Dean Jamison, Edward A Clarkson Professor Emeritus, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Institute for Global Health Sciences, University of California, San Francisco.
  • Mark Radin, PhD student, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Dale Whittington, Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Brad Wong, Founder and Director, Mettalytics; Senior Economic Advisor, Copenhagen Consensus Center. 
Purchase recordings here

 

Check back periodically for additional information and offerings.