economic analysis

Unanswered Questions About Cost-Benefit Analysis

We have only fragmentary evidnece about how CBA actually functions in government decision-making.

Considering that people have been debating cost-benefit analysis at least since Reagan mandated its use in 1981, you would think we would have the answers to some basic questions about how it works.  Yet we have very fragmentary information, generally based on the perspevtives of people at the agencies or in the White House Office …


WARNING: Individual Research Findings and Economic Models May Not Be Fully Grounded.

A couple of weeks ago, a major paper on the economics of government deficits turned out to have huge flaws. Matt and Jonathan have already had something to say about this, but I’d like to add some thoughts about the implications for environmental issues.“Interesting,” you say, “But what does that have to do with the …


Supreme Court won’t hear critical habitat cases

Cross-posted at CPRBlog. The Supreme Court today denied certiorari on two Endangered Species Act cases, Arizona Cattle Growers Association v. Salazar and Home Builders Association of Northern California v. US Fish and Wildlife Service. The cases were considered together because they raise the same issue: how the economic impacts of critical habitat designation should be …


The Cost of Climate Change

According to Climate Wire, the Obama Administration is trying to come up with a reliable economic estimate of the cost of unchecked climate change.   This sounds like a great idea but is actually full of pitfalls. Many of the individual elements of the economic impact analysis are the subjects of serious debate.  For instance, economists …