generated: 2023-03-15 12:08:02
All times in US Eastern Time

Program at a Glance

Wednesday March 8, 2023
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Thursday March 9, 2023
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
2:15 PM - 3:45 PM
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Friday March 10, 2023
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Monday March 13, 2023
5:45 AM - 7:15 AM
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday March 14, 2023
3:45 AM - 5:15 AM
5:45 AM - 7:15 AM
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
1:15 PM - 2:45 PM
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

SBCA Program

All times in US Eastern Time
Informal Welcome Reception [Plenary]
Wednesday | 6:30 pm-7:30 pm | Melrose Georgetown Hotel (Potomac I - III)
1. Keynote: Using Economics and Econometrics to Forecast the Long Run Costs and Benefits of Early Intervention Programs for Disadvantaged Children (James Heckman)* [Plenary]
Thursday | 9:00 am-10:30 am | GWU Grand Ballroom

Chair: Glenn Blomquist, University of Kentucky
2. Estimating Environmental Benefits from Housing Markets* [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | GWU Amphitheater

Organizer: John Whitehead, Appalachian State University
Chair: John Whitehead, Appalachian State University
  • The Economic Consequences of Local Gas Leaks: Evidence from Massachusetts Housing Market. .....Pengfei Liu, University of Rhode Island
  • Pengfei Liu This study provides the first empirical evidence on the impact of leaks in natural gas distribution pipelines on nearby home prices. Using high-resolution geographical data on property transactions in Massachusetts and a difference-in-differences design, we find that gas leaks significantly reduce nearby home prices by 2.61% ($11,700) on average. Damage to local greenery plays an important role in the negative impact of gas leaks on nearby home prices. The impact is economically and statistically significant for houses with high surrounding tree cover and not significant for houses with low surrounding tree cover. We fail to detect significant difference in the impact before and after an information shock of a deadly natural gas accident. Our estimated benefits of fixing gas leaks are larger than the average costs per repair reported by utilities in Massachusetts, which supports policymakers and environmental organizations’ actions to reduce methane emissions from gas distribution pipelines.
  • Environmental Valuation Across Time and Benefit Cost Analysis. .....Patrick Walsh, US EPA NCEE
  • Many benefit-cost analyses (BCAs) have timeframes that span multiple decades and apply the same environmental values across time (although usually adjusting for inflation). However, opinion surveys show that people’s preferences for the environment vary across time, especially between recessionary and expansionary periods.
  • Untangling Willingness to Pay for Public Land Use Change: An Analysis of Greenways in Raleigh, North Carolina. .....Lee Parton, Boise State University
  • Since 2010 Wake County, NC, and the City of Raleigh, have experienced prolific growth of outdoor amenities, primarily financed through the passage of parks and open space bond referenda. Wake County currently has over 100 miles of off-street, paved greenway trails connecting schools, parks museums and commercial areas, 65 miles of which have been added since 2010.
3. International (LMIC) 1* [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | GWU Grand Ballroom

Chair: Brad Wong, Mettalytics
  • Best investments in chronic, noncommunicable disease prevention and control in low- and lower-middle-income countries. .....David Watkins, University of Washington; Sarah Pickersgill, University of Washington; Sali Ahmed, University of Washington
  • The world remains off-track for the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 3.4, which calls for a one-third reduction in noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) mortality by 2030. As part of the Copenhagen Consensus Center’s SDG “Halftime” project, we conducted benefit-cost analysis of different NCD interventions in low-income (LICs) and lower-middle-income (LMICs) countries. We looked at 30 interventions recommended by the Disease Control Priorities Project, including six intersectoral policies (e.g., taxes) and 24 clinical services. We used a previously published NCD model (Lancet, 2022) to estimate societal costs and benefits of the interventions through 2030, discounted at 8%. We looked at the “best investments” (interventions with benefit-cost ratios [BCRs] >15) and their contribution towards achieving the SDG target. We found that intersectoral policies often provided the best value for money, ranging from 40 (trans fat bans) to 100 (tobacco excise taxes). However, seven clinical interventions (e.g., drug treatment to prevent cardiovascular disease, breast cancer treatment) also had BCRs >15. The overall population impact of clinical interventions over 2023-2030 would be much higher than that of the intersectoral policies, which can take many years to reach their peak effects. Fully implementing the best-investment interventions would accelerate progress towards SDG 3.4 everywhere, but only one in ten countries would achieve the target. Fully implementing all 30 interventions would allow half of countries to achieve the target but would require an additional US$ 30 billion per year, with a BCR around 4. We conclude that there are several high-value opportunities to prevent and treat NCDs in LICs and LMICs, though unfavorable disease trends and logistical challenges could hinder many countries from achieving SDG 3.4. In countries with very limited resources, the best-investment interventions could begin to address the major NCD risk factors and build greater health system capacity, with benefits continuing to accrue beyond 2030.
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis of Implementing Indonesian Anti-Corruption Laws. .....Choky Ramadhan, University of Washington
  • This paper aims to measure the benefit and cost of implementing anti-corruption laws to provide input that policymakers can use to reallocate resources or reform the laws. After the Soeharto regime collapsed in 1998, the Indonesian government, with support from international development agencies, implemented anti-corruption laws and created several new institutions. However, after the donors left the country, these policies and newly created institutions were too costly to Indonesian taxpayers to continue to implement and support them. Previous publications have measured the cost of corruption in Indonesia based only upon court decisions and forestry cases. There are two perspectives to measure the benefit and cost of enforcing Indonesian anti-corruption policies. First, from the fiscal perspective, I measured the cost of law enforcement agencies that address the crime of corruption (enforcement cost), the cost of agencies that prevent corruption (prevention cost), and the collected monetary sanctions. The value from this fiscal perspective is negative IDR 14 trillion (or USD 896,041,705.42). Second, the societal perspective was used to determine how much tax the public is willing to allocate by modifying Cohen’s (2015) survey. I asked 2,114 respondents from all 34 provinces in Indonesia and found that the majority did not want to allocate their tax to enforce and prevent corruption. However, after measuring over a 22-year period and conducting a Monte Carlo simulation with a 10% and 15% social discount rate, the net present value to enforce Indonesian anti-corruption laws is still positive. Thus, from the societal perspective, enforcing Indonesian anti-corruption laws is beneficial, IDR 3,801 trillion with a 10% discount rate and IDR 7,612 trillion with a 15% discount rate. The government underfunds the implementation of Indonesian anti-corruption laws, as we can observe from the lack of resources of several agencies that work to implement either prevention or enforcement strategies.
  • Using Benefit-Cost Analysis to Identify Global Best Buys: A first look at Copenhagen Consensus’ next global priorities project. .....Brad Wong, Mettalytics
  • In 2023, the global community will be at the halftime mark of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda - 2016-2030. Unfortunately, current projections suggest all 17 goals and 169 SDG targets will only be met by 2078, almost a half century overdue. There is a clear imperative to focus limited resources on interventions that deliver the greatest benefits at lowest cost. The Copenhagen Consensus’s Halftime SDGs project uses benefit-cost analysis to identify these global best buys, defined as interventions with substantial (>15) benefit-cost ratios. This session will cover the process, methodology and results of this two year research agenda. Twelve best buys were identified from diverse fields such as education, health, governance and more. The aggregate BCR of the best buys is 52. The project results will appear in a special issue of the Journal of Benefit Cost Analysis.
4. Health - Mix [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | GWU Student Center 302

Chair: Shasha Wang, University of Pennsylvania
  • Multi-impact Valuation Methodology for Attention Deficit Disorders and BCA Implications. .....Anna Belova, ICF Incorporated; Jason Jones, ICF Incorporated; Alex Lindahl, ICF Incorporated; Sorina Eftim, ICF Incorporated; André Kiesel, ICF Incorporated; Jessica Balukas, ICF International; Gregory Miller, Environmental Protection Agency; Laura Romano, Environmental Protection Agency
  • Background: Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) exert a growing economic burden in the US, and incidence has been linked to environmental contaminants. For this project, we examine a subset of criteria air pollutants, including particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. The economic valuation of ADD is important for the benefit-cost analyses (BCA) of regulations affecting exposures to these contaminants. We evaluate the robustness of existing literature in the context of economic valuation development for lifetime ADD. Methods: We implemented a systematic literature search for valuation-relevant lifetime impacts of ADD, including own and caregiver quality of life, educational attainment, own and caregiver labor market experience, life expectancy implications, notable comorbidities (e.g., obesity, substance abuse), adaptive behaviors, treatments, and side-effects. PubMed, Web of Science, EBSCO, and Google Scholar were searched for English-language references published during 2000-2022 using automated screening based on curated exclusion term lists and unsupervised information retrieval prioritization methods. The manual screening of the prioritized references for relevance, study information extraction, and assessment of study utility for valuation development is performed in litstream. Results: The initial number of articles retrieved exceeded 100,000. The topics included education (80%), labor market experience (77%), medication-based treatment (54%), parental effects (45%), behavioral therapy (13%), treatment side-effects (9%), sequelae (e.g., accidental mortality, 8%), and quality of life (5%). Results include original valuation studies, studies with useful auxiliary information (e.g., mortality risk), and on-topic reviews. Conclusion: Our ongoing work has demonstrated the need for a composite ADD valuation approach that combines results from multiple studies since the literature lacks analyses spanning all expected impacts. We are examining information gaps, key uncertainties, and limitations of the existing literature across impacts to construct a comprehensive valuation methodology for BCA. Disclaimer: Views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of US EPA.
  • Ageing in the Periphery: Cost-benefit-analysis of community based services as a mean of promoting active ageing. .....Nir Becker, Tel Hai College
  • The increase in life expectancy brings many benefits but also costs originating from increased expenses related to morbidity and prevention. Some of these costs could have been reduced by adopting a healthier lifestyle. This study charts the lifestyle characteristics of older adults in Upper Galilee (Israel) with their relatedness to various morbid symptoms. The charting, in addition to the data collected related to the costs of health-related symptoms and the cost of saved life years. The objective of the study was to quantify the economic value of a variety of activities in which the elderly partake. Economic value is estimated based on individual willingness to pay, i.e. the subjective benefit from these activities and the objective assessments of changes in morbidity characteristics resulting from these activities. 300 older adult participants and non-participants in the activities of the local senior center filled out Preference questionnaires that were followed by a valuation and cost-benefit analysis. An association was found between the various activities explored and the objective and subjective perspectives of health. Moreover, all older adult activities were found to be efficient both objectively and subjectively. Nutrition-related activities were found to be the most beneficial. Cultural activities were ranked second objectively and subjectively. Intellectual activities were ranked last objectively and physical activity was ranked last subjectively. The present study points to the need to provide optimal policy and efficient resource distribution between the various activities. An efficient policy will lead to better health that will lower public health expenditures.
  • Understanding the Female Thinness Myth: Marriage and Employment. .....Shasha Wang, University of Pennsylvania
  • This paper uses the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to study two mechanisms jointly that contribute to thinness premium in the marriage market: the economic mechanism and the non-economic mechanism. The economic mechanism is based on the observation that thinner females receive a wage premium which empowers them in the marriage market. The non-economic mechanism works through the potential male preference for thin females. The paper presents a two-stage optimization model in which both genders make decisions regarding fitness investment, college education, labor supply and marriage. The model is estimated using a moments matching approach with the white population in PSID (1999-2017). Results show that both mechanisms are important in explaining the female thinness premium. A noncollege wife’s 1 unit increase in BMI, e.g., roughly a 6-pound increase for a 5’6 figure, is associated with the husband’s decrease in annual labor income by 4%, and for a college graduate wife the decrease is by 5.33%. To the best of my knowledge, this paper is the first to examine thinness premium in the labor and the marriage market in a united framework. I employ a static matching model with employment decisions and pre-stage investment to separate the two effects, i.e., economic and non-economic, by disentangling matching patterns over multiple dimensions on both sides. To my knowledge this is the first project to examine BMI-related marriage and employment patterns in a united structural model. Putting the issue of weight bias in the context of marriage and employment, two of the major economic activities in adult life, this paper aims to take on a static matching model with pre-stage investment to differentiate between the two mechanisms and experiment with institutional and technological counterfactuals, to examine the impact of weight bias on marriage matching, employment decisions, and the welfare of both genders.
5. Distribution & Equity [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | GWU Student Center 307

Chair: Dan Acland, University of California at Berkeley
  • Just Regulation: Improving Distributional Analysis in Agency Rulemaking. .....Richard Revesz, New York University School of Law; Burçin Ünel, Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law
  • Environmental justice is a core policy goal of the current administration. While the President’s Memorandum on Modernizing Regulatory Review directed the Office of Management and Budget to “propose procedures that take into account the distributional consequences of regulations” on Day 1, there is still no consensus in the academic literature or agency practice on how exactly to do a proper distributional analyses that can inform the Administration’s environmental justice goals. In this Article, we seek to understand the shortcomings of current agency practice and outline what agencies can do better. To do so, we examined fifteen proposed or final agency rules promulgated under the Biden Administration as illustrative case studies. We observed that agencies either analyze the status quo coupled with an unverified assumption that outcomes will be better with the proposed rule, or the distributed consequences of proposed rule alone without looking at alternatives. Further, we find that agencies limit the scope of their distributional analyses compared to the cost-benefit analysis underlying the rule, limiting the validity of the results. Overall, we find that none of the agencies we examined structured its distributional analyses to be able to leverage it to promote environmental justice in regulatory decisionmaking. We conclude by providing suggestions on how to make agency distributional analyses more robust.
  • Implementing the Biden Administration’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” Memorandum. .....Richard Belzer, Good Intentions Paving Co
  • President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. issued a Memorandum titled “Modernizing Regulatory Review” on his first day in office. The Memorandum directs the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to make far-reaching changes in both the regulatory process which it administers and the methods and practices for preparing Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIAs). OIRA leadership has promised to seek public comment on proposed process changes and revised analytic procedures, but none have been proposed during the subsequent 18 months. Because OIRA operates confidentially, it cannot be discerned if no actions have been taken or no actions taken have been disclosed. This paper raises grave concerns about the Memorandum’s directed process changes, which pose existential risks to both regulatory benefit-cost analysis and OIRA, and optimism concerning the Memorandum’s analytic reforms, which if implemented would significantly improve the quality and utility of RIAs. This optimism is attenuated by the absence of evidence that Executive branch agencies have even begun to implement the mandated analytic improvements and substantial evidence that OIRA has not compelled them to do so. Taking both sides into account, the benefits of the Memorandum appear to be illusory and the costs debilitating. It is argued that the Memorandum should be rescinded and replaced with mandatory and enforceable requirements for distributional analysis.
  • PRACTICAL ISSUES IN CONDUCTING DISTRIBUTIONAL WEIGHTING. .....Dan Acland, University of California at Berkeley; David Greenberg, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • It is often argued that because of the diminishing marginal utility of income, low-income persons receive a greater improvement in their utility from a given increase in income than higher income persons and that this should be taken into account in BCA. One way to take account of the diminishing marginal utility of income is to assign weights to each individual with standing that are based on their marginal utility of income and multiply estimates of program costs and benefits by these weights. In principle, these weights should allow those conducting BCAs to adjust the monetary value of benefits and costs so that they measure the resulting change in welfare that results for different income groups. We refer to such weights as “utility weights.” Once utility weighting is completed, and diminishing marginal utility is accounted for, the program can then be assessed. However, once the utility weights are decided upon, putting them into practice will sometimes present serious methodological challenges. Our proposed presentation will discuss the most important of these practical issues, and present practical applications that we believe demonstrate that the application of utility weights is feasible in many cases. Among the issues that will be covered are the following: • What is the most appropriate unit of analysis—the individual or family? • What is the measure of income to which utility weights should be applied? • How should benefits and costs that are averaged across groups in BCA—e.g., value of statistical life, the value of time, and those estimated with contingent valuation techniques—be treated in applying weights? • In practice, how can the various estimated benefits and costs be distributed across the income distribution so that weights can then be applied? We then illustrate our conclusions concerning these issues by applying utility weights to two previously conducted benefit-cost analyses.
6. Eclectic 1 [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | GWU Student Center 310

Chair: Amanda Danks, American Institutes for Research
  • A Note on the Discussion About Consumers´ Reaction to Average or Marginal Prices. .....Felipe Vásquez Lavín, Universidad del Desarrollo
  • There has been an active discussion in the literature on whether consumers react to average or marginal prices in markets where consumers face nonlinear tariffs. Given the growing utilization of increasing block tariffs (Whittington and Nauges, 2020; Andres et al., 2021, Cook and Brend, 2021), this discussion has become more abundant in the last decade and has taken an integral part of the studies on water and energy economics (Wichman et al., 2016; Wang et al., 2018; Whittington et al., 2017; Nataraj and Hanemann 2011; Ito, 2014). Authors justify using average (or marginal) prices in the residential water demand specification mainly under the price perception assumption. The common question is: “do consumers respond to average or marginal price?” The consensus suggests that when people react to average prices, using structural forms as the Discrete Continuous Choice model (DCC), which is based on marginal prices for its estimation, is wrong and misled economic and policy analysis. In this paper, we argue that this is an incomplete conclusion. Using a water demand specification, we perform an econometric analysis to evaluate which “indicator” to derive price information is more salient to consumers using Ito´s approach (2014). We consider five indicators: 1) the average total price, 2) the average volumetric price, 3) the marginal price, 4) the monthly bill, and 5) the bill as a proportion of total income. Our results show that the bill-to-income ratio of the previous month performs better than average prices. It is statistically significant in explaining water consumption variations. Furthermore, we show that water demand reaction to the average price should be, by construction, bigger than the reaction to the marginal price when facing IBTs. Our analysis shows that average price and marginal are directly related and that estimating a water demand using average price significantly limits the scope of the economic analysis. Indeed, estimating a water demand function using a structural demand model that accounts for the whole tariff structure allows us to estimate consumer welfare changes and perform cost-benefit analyses. This analysis cannot be done using reduced-form approaches.
  • Fundamental Market Supply Characteristics of U.S. Commercial Drone Services. .....Andrew Whitaker, Federal Aviation Administration; Ali Gungor, Federal Aviation Administration
  • The U.S. is estimated to account for the largest share of the evolving market for drone services in 2022. Commercial drone services support industries such as agriculture, insurance, construction, marine, aviation, oil and gas, and mining in performing tasks such as search and rescue, package delivery, industrial inspection, assembling imagery, spraying fertilizers, distributing healthcare supplies to remote places, and broadcasting shows. However, we know of no welfare analysis of commercial drone services that includes impacts to these related markets. Estimating benefits and costs for drone services are impossible without identifying and describing how they are used in the marketplace. Drone services are rapidly replacing the applications of legacy services in the commercial sectors, such as aerial surveys, filmography, and search and rescue. The usage of drone services continues to increase in various civil and commercial applications due to their high endurance and low operational costs. The incorporation of new technologies is expected to further fuel their demand in many other industries and sectors. We develop a welfare analysis framework to account for the impact of commercial drone services not only on the drone services market, but also on related markets, such as substitutes for commercial drone services, inputs such as drone operators and drones themselves as well as the substitute inputs such as conventional aircraft and pilots, and finally the impact on the output market, to which both commercial drone services and their substitutes act as inputs. This framework attempts to captures the full impacts of changes on commercial drone services which the literature has to date missed, and enables a more full accounting of costs and benefits. Presenters   Ali Gungor Andrew Whitaker   Affiliations and Contacts   Ali Gungor & Andrew Whitaker   Office of Policy and Plans   Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  202.352.1968 (Ali) 831.241.2132 (Andrew) (Ali) (Andrew)
  • Return on the Investment in the Medical Legal Partnership. .....Amanda Danks, American Institutes for Research; Jesse Levin, American Institutes for Research; Colleen Heberle, American Institutes for Resear; Leah Brown, American Institutes for Research
  • The Medical Legal Partnership (MLP) connects legal aid providers with clinicians with the goal of addressing the social determinants of health and well-being among low- and moderate-income patients. They do so by integrating lawyers as members of the health care delivery team to identify unmet educational legal needs related to the provision of special education and related services. Each student identified by trained clinicians as needing legal services is then matched with an attorney who develops a case strategy in pursuit of an educational milestone. Educational milestones ranged from an evaluation to inform student Individualized Education Programs to providing private school tuition from the state to meet student educational needs. Legal aid staff worked with students and their families to pursue identified milestones with both parties putting in significant effort. The return on investment (ROI) study of the MLP used program data and primary data collected from staff to estimate the costs and benefits of achieving each educational milestone using the Ingredients Method for economic evaluation (Levin et al., 2018). The ROI analysis included the dollar value of the intake meeting (inclusive of staff and family time) and pursuit efforts (i.e., services and supports provided in pursuit of a milestone) as costs of the program, while the estimated value of the educational milestone achievements is conservatively counted as program benefits (i.e., achieved milestones may have led to additional benefits in later life). Using this conservative approach to accounting for the value of benefits, the overall ROI for the program proved to be positive measuring 27%. References Levin, H. M., McEwan, P. J., Belfield, C., Bowden, A. B., & Shand, R. (2018). Economic evaluation in education: Cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost analysis. Sage Publications.
7. Keynote: Connecting the Dots: Turning Research Evidence into Evidence for Policy Making (Sherry Glied)* [Plenary]
Thursday | 12:30 pm-2:00 pm | GWU Grand Ballroom

Chair: Jennifer Baxter, Industrial Economics, Inc.
8. Estimating Willingness to Pay with Stated Preference Methods* [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 2:15 pm-3:45 pm | GWU Amphitheater

Organizer: John Whitehead, Appalachian State University
Chair: Patrick Walsh, US EPA NCEE
  • Distribution-free Methods to Estimate Willingness to Pay Models Using Discrete Response Valuation Data. .....Samuel Zapata, Texas A&M University
  • A Meta-Analysis of Recreational Fishing Benefits. .....Matt Massey, US EPA NCEE
  • Sea level rise, drinking water quality and the willingness to pay for coastal tourism. .....John Whitehead, Appalachian State University
9. US Policy* [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 2:15 pm-3:45 pm | GWU Grand Ballroom

Chair: Richard Belzer, Good Intentions Paving Co
  • Presidential Use of Regulatory Suspensions. .....Mark Febrizio, George Washington University
  • Regulatory suspensions defer compliance with a regulation’s provisions by either postponing its compliance dates or effective dates before working to change or repeal its substantive requirements. Suspensions are one of several mechanisms that incoming presidents use to reverse the regulatory agenda of the prior administration. Federal agencies publish these postponements in the Federal Register, the daily journal of the U.S. government. Understanding the frequency of regulatory suspensions across presidential administrations may help contextualize the usage of this tool of regulatory oversight. The paper’s objective is to identify regulatory suspensions and analyze how presidential administrations use them differently, focusing on how presidents use the tool throughout their term in office. As its methodology, the paper will work on introducing a machine learning classifier for identifying regulatory suspensions, which could potentially be applied to other types of Federal Register actions as well. This paper will build on a shorter article that I co-authored that focused on regulatory suspensions during the first 100 days of four presidential administrations.
  • What Do COVID-19 Responses Tell Us About the Price of Liberty?. .....Benjamin Watkins, Tulane University
  • Can basic liberties be valued in monetary terms? Between 2020 and 2021 all governments restricted basic liberties to varying degrees, to curb the spread of COVID-19, leading to high spatial and temporal variation in the enjoyment of civil liberties. This variation provides a unique opportunity to apply Revealed Preference valuation techniques to civil liberties, which, for reasons that I explain, are particularly hard to evaluate under normal circumstances. Specifically, I explore whether the opportunity cost of not curbing liberties provides an indicator of policymakers' `willingness-to-pay' for - or reluctance to forego - basic liberties. I use US state and county-level data from 2020 to mid 2021 to explore the output costs of restrictions on liberties of movement and assembly, and the benefits they brought in terms of reduced COVID-19 cases, morbidity and mortality. An optimal (net cost-minimizing) level for the two liberties is identified using a heuristic algorithm. I test the robustness of the solution to all analytic choices, including data encoding, indexing, econometric specification, and monetary valuation method for morbidity and mortality (VSL computation). When GDP bounce-back is considered, which drastically reduces the net costs of restrictions, actual restrictions on movement and assembly were far less stringent than the instrumental optimum, but several plausible specifications return negative net benefits to restrictions on liberty of assembly. On average, the model suggests that the two liberties are jointly valued at 4 - 8 dollars per person day. Between-state variation in the stringency of restrictions is associated with voting patterns, suggesting that the valuation of liberty is conditional on local political preferences. Several other caveats also limit the general applicability of the measure.
  • The Household-Level Costs of Net Zero 2050 in the United States. .....Richard Belzer, Good Intentions Paving Co
  • The Biden Administration has deemed achieving Net Zero 2050 a key policy goal of the United States. Congress has not weighed in on this question, nor has it seriously debated enacting a carbon tax. Before doing so, it should be aware of the likely scope and scale of this proposed commitment. This paper takes at face value the Administration's commitment, and plausible values for the Social Cost of Carbon (or carbon tax) required to achieve it, to estimate the policy's household-level costs. These costs are estimated by State under several plausible scenarios by which Net Zero 2050 might be achieved. If each State were required to "cover" energy-related CO2 emissions from within its borders, household-level cost would exceed 25% of median household income in two states at $100/mt, 18 States at $300/mt SCC, 32 States at $450/mt SCC, and 43 States at $700/mt SCC. Other ways of allocating burden changes the results only at the margin and have no material effect on the scale and scope of the burden. Behavioral changes in response to such taxes would reduce tax payments but not their opportunity costs, which to date have not been estimated. Household-level costs can be reduced by enacting a revenue-neutral carbon tax. However, even if Congress were to legislate revenue-neutrality, there are myriad reasons to doubt that this would be sustained. For example, no Congress can tie the hands of a successor. And Congress would face an overwhelming temptation to set the tax above marginal damage, skimp on reducing other taxes, or both. Household-level costs would be much greater if the U.S. contributed to other nations' CO2 reductions or paid reparations for past emissions.
10. BCA - General [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 2:15 pm-3:45 pm | GWU Student Center 302

Chair: Dale Whittington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • In defense of the exclusion of rights, equity, and justice from BCA. .....Dan Acland, University of California at Berkeley
  • Benefit-cost analysis, as typically defined, demands the inclusion of any policy impact for which individuals do, or at least hypothetically could, demonstrate willingness to pay. This includes things like rights, equity, and justice. Inclusion of such impacts could be seen as a response to the growing demand for accounting for these social goals. I demonstrate that this would lead to inappropriate policy decisions, and offer a refined definition of BCA that establishes a clear boundary between the policy impacts that should be included in BCA and those that should not.
  • Economists and Neutrality in the Federal Government. .....Stuart Shapiro, Rutgers University
  • We have long wanted our civil servants to be "neutral." At the same time debates have raged both in academia and in the public sphere over what neutrality means. Is it equivalent to expertise, giving policy-makers the best advice as dictated by existing knowledge? Or is it carrying out the will of policy-makers regardless of your own beliefs? Some of the agencies considered most neutral are the "braineries" as Redford (1958) labeled as the agencies at the center of policy-making. Examples of these agencies include OMB, CBO, GAO, and the agencies that provide research support to cabinet departments. Many of the personnel at these agencies are economists. I conducted fifty interviews with individuals at these agencies focusing on their expertise and their perceptions regarding neutrality at their agencies. Many of my interview subjects were economists. Just as there have been debates over the meaning of neutrality, there have been recent works on the influence of economists in policy-making. Critics have argued that economists are inherently not neutral and bring to their jobs a particular mindset. In my conversations with economists at OMB, CBO, GAO and the Economic Research Service, I came away with a very different impression. This presentation will discuss the findings from these interviews particularly the mindset at these agencies that their job is to present information to decision-makers and then defer to those decision-makers. I will also discuss the challenges to this mindset over the past few years.
  • Dynamic Baselines. .....Dale Whittington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Lisa Robinson, Harvard University
  • In benefit-cost analysis, each policy option should be compared to a “no intervention” dynamic baseline that reflects likely future conditions in the absence of the policy. Current conditions may differ in significant respects from those likely to exist at the time the policy is implemented. For example, the health of the population, its size and composition, the economy and the environment, and many other factors will change over time. In turn, these changes may significantly affect the impacts of the policy options. In this presentation, we review major guidance documents as well as selected benefit-cost analysis across a range of countries and Dale Wpolicy areas. We examine how the dynamic baseline is estimated and explore the challenges associated with its specification and prediction. We find that, in some cases, the baseline assumptions are not clearly articulated; in other cases, analysts simply assume that current conditions will persist without describing the justification for that assumption – the baseline is static rather than dynamic. We conclude with some recommendations on strengthening the guidelines for estimating dynamic baselines and better predict policy impacts, so as to improve the conduct of benefit-cost analysis.
11. What are the Options for Decarbonizing Long-Haul Freight? [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 2:15 pm-3:45 pm | GWU Student Center 307

Chair: Gabriel Movsesyan, United States Department of Transportation
  • Decarbonizing road freight transport: An economic analysis of innovative shuttles on French highways. .....Anicet KABRE, ABT Associates; Francois Combes, Gustave Eiffel University; Martin Koning, Gustave Eiffel University; Lucie Letrouit, Gustave Eiffel University
  • This paper analyzes from an economic point of view the situation of a highway infrastructure manager who seeks to offer to carriers/loaders an electric shuttle service in order to "green" the road freight transport. The idea is to replace fossil fuel trucks on the highway with a technical alternative that emits less CO2 (fast electric, slow electric, electric powered continuously by catenary, or by induction). In other words, trailer exchange platforms would be set up at various points on the highway network; carriers would bring semi-trailers to these platforms; these would be released and then attached to electric tractors, operated by the concessionary company, which would provide traction until the point of exit from the highway network, at which point the semi-trailers would be taken over by the carrier again. Beyond the benefits in terms of CO2 reduction, we formalize and estimate the equilibrium toll from the point of view of the concessionary company, for the different technologies. We also determine the equilibrium toll that would maximize social welfare (i.e. the sum of the concessionary company’s profit, other firms’ profit, consumer surplus, public finance, GHG savings and other externalities such as local pollutants or noise), and derive public policies on the basis of these two optimal tolls. Great attention will be paid to the estimates of CO2 abatement costs, from both private and socioeconomic points of view, in order to rank and prioritize the technologies to be developed.
  • A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Decarbonizing Long-Haul Rail Freight with Hydrogen. .....Antoine Belleguie, Gustave Eiffel University
  • At the time of a global energy transition, rail has emerged as one of the cornerstones of green mobility but it is still responsible for the emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) and air pollutants. Today, given that 56% of all track-kilometers are non-electrified, 57% of the locomotives are diesel-powered and over 75% of them are used for freight (UNIFE, 2022). Even if electrification is progressing worldwide, there are still, for economic, technical and safety reasons, portions that are not electrified. As a result, today, 80% of diesel freight train-kilometers in France are done under catenaries (Simian and al., 2018). An environmental nonsense that leads to avoidable emissions. Although the literature on transportation costs is abundant (Anupriya, 2020), the sub-theme of rail, and more specifically of decarbonized rail alternatives, is still understudied. This research aims to demonstrate the interest of hydrogen for long distance rail freight through a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) on real use cases. We propose an innovative method to (1) calculate the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in Net Present Value (NPV) over the lifetime of the Rolling Stock (RS) including evolution scenarios; (2) establish an evaluation of the emissions balance. The uniqueness of our approach lies in the fact that we compare the polluting solution and the decarbonized hydrogen alternative via the economic equation and the environmental balance, often treated separately even though the two are interdependent. We believe that this approach, applied in this case to a hydrogen solution, will allow for an effective comparison of carbon-free rail alternatives for a given mission and provide concrete answers to decision-makers within the framework of public policies. This economic approach, while initially intended for rail, could be applied to other modes of transportation.
  • Pooling: the key to a road-to-rail shift? A Benefit-Cost Analysis. .....Antoine Robichet, Gustave Eiffel University
  • With 77.4% of the metric ton-kilometers carried by trucks (Eurostat, 2020), modal shift to rail is one of the major challenges for the success of decarbonization of freight transport. However, the use of rail requires the massification of flows on the scale of several players. The originality of this study relies on the access of a dataset of all the long-haul flows of a consortium of major industrial companies in France and Europe (with flows on a European scale). From there it is possible to identify which combined flows could be transferred from road to rail (based on a dataset of all their flows). The major axes (i.e. axes with enough flows to have recourse to rail) were first identified. From there, for each of the previous axes, the optimal locations of multimodal platforms for departure and arrival have been identified. Finally, an economic and ecological cost study on a global scale and for each actor has been conducted on each identified axis. Finally, we show that pooling allows to significantly increase the share of rail. As a result, the increased use of rail allows a significant decrease of CO2 emissions. Secondly, from an economic point of view, we have demonstrated that - if feasible - full trains are economically beneficial. However, we showed that profits are variable for the actors, depending on the situation. That is to say that on an axis where it is possible to make rail thanks to the pooling of the flows of several players, the gains will not be proportional according to their flow but depending on other parameters such as the place of origin, place of destination, volume of the flow.
12. Expert Elicitation and Benefits Analysis for Informing Economic Impacts of Food Traceability [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 2:15 pm-3:45 pm | GWU Student Center 310

Organizer: Aliya Sassi, US Food and Drug Administration
Chair: Aliya Sassi, US Food and Drug Administration
  • Estimating Public Health Benefits from Food Traceability. .....Aliya Sassi, US Food and Drug Administration; Cristina McLaughlin, US Food and Drug Administration; Joseph Njau, US Food and Drug Administration; Sheri Walker, US Food and Drug Administration
  • Section 204 the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to designate foods for which additional traceability recordkeeping requirements are appropriate and necessary to protect public health. The FDA’s Food Traceability List identifies these foods and the FDA’s "Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods" final rule establishes additional recordkeeping requirements (beyond what is already required in existing regulations) for persons who manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods on the list and certain foods that contain the listed foods as ingredients. To assess public health benefits of this FSMA rule, we examine risks of foodborne illness attributable to covered foods, the economic burden of foodborne illness associated with these foods, and the reduction of foodborne illnesses from faster traceability. We adopt the framework developed by the Institute of Food Technologists and use data from FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network. We estimate the weighted average burden per illness using the updated FDA Cost of Foodborne Illness Model. Because this rule covers only certain FDA-regulated foods and because public health benefits can only be realized through an averted or reduced-duration outbreak, we expect that the new recordkeeping requirements would help avert only a subset of all foodborne illnesses in the U.S.
  • Expert Elicitation for Informing the Economic Analyses of Traceability Regulation. .....Aylin Sertkaya, Eastern Research Group, Inc.; Ayesha Berlind, Eastern Research Group, Inc.; Nyssa Ackerley, Eastern Research Group, Inc.; Cristina McLaughlin, US Food and Drug Administration; Aliya Sassi, US Food and Drug Administration; Kevin Kho, US Food and Drug Administration; Michael Black, US Food and Drug Administration; Sheri Walker, US Food and Drug Administration
  • The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) “Requirements for Additional Traceability Records for Certain Foods” establishes traceability recordkeeping requirements for entities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods the FDA has designated for inclusion on the Food Traceability List. Data on the resulting potential reduction in overly broad recalls and market withdrawals are lacking and infeasible to collect using standard methods, such as industry surveys due to resource constraints. We conducted an expert elicitation using the modified Delphi method to collect data on spillover costs that covered entities incur from overly broad recalls due to an FDA product advisory. These spillover costs can be considered a proxy in estimating the potential benefits from the reduction in overly broad recalls. The expert elicitation on spillover costs from overly broad recalls asked experts to estimate the labor and non-labor costs incurred per firm to respond to an FDA product advisory. Expert elicitation filled important data gaps and facilitated an improved evaluation of the benefits of FDA’s food traceability rule.
  • Benefits from Avoiding Overly Broad Recalls of Certain Foods Following FDA Issued Public Health Advisories. .....Cristina McLaughlin, US Food and Drug Administration; Aliya Sassi, US Food and Drug Administration; Elizabeth Kim, US Food and Drug Administration; Ayesha Berlind, Eastern Research Group, Inc.; Aylin Sertkaya, Eastern Research Group, Inc.; Sheri Walker, US Food and Drug Administration
  • Overly broad recalls may occur when the source of a foodborne outbreak cannot be promptly identified or is originally misidentified, so that the recall extends to products and lots beyond the contaminated product. When the source of the outbreak or responsible firm cannot be identified in a timely manner, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is more likely to issue an advisory, which has much greater potential spillover effects than a manufacturer-initiated recall. Costs of conducting a recall or market withdrawal due to an advisory include both private costs and social costs such as spillover costs to shareholders, competitors, wholesalers, retailers, and customers. Currently there is limited available literature on these spillover costs (negative externalities). The benefits of avoiding overly broad recalls following an FDA advisory is the reduction in spillover costs. We use the results of an expert elicitation estimating both labor and non-labor costs for different firm sizes and industry sectors. We estimate the number of affected firms using U.S. Census data and address inherent uncertainty and variability using Monte Carlo simulations. We find that on average, non-labor costs vary widely by industry sector and firm size and account for the majority of total recall costs across all industries. Our study shows that even with limited available information and the inherent uncertainty and variability in parameter estimates, it is possible to estimate social costs of overly broad recalls by using a variety of methods.
  • Clare Narrod, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition;
13. Regulatory Policy in the United States: The Year in Review and What Lies Ahead* [Roundtable/Panel]
Thursday | 4:00 pm-5:30 pm | GWU Amphitheater

Organizer: Susan Dudley, George Washington University
Chair: Susan Dudley, George Washington University

  • Caroline Cecot, George Mason University;
  • Stuart Shapiro, Rutgers University;
  • Kevin Bromberg, Bromberg Regulatory Strategy, LLC;
  • Mark Febrizio, George Washington University;
14. Health Valuation 1 [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 4:00 pm-5:30 pm | GWU Student Center 302

Chair: Bartosz Jusypenko, University of Warsaw, University of Alberta
  • Applying the Value of Statistical Life for Children in Regulatory Analysis. .....Alex Moscoso, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; Jose Tejeda, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; Mark Bailey, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • The Value of Statistical Life (VSL) is a widely discussed and used parameter in benefit-cost analysis and in the regulatory space. In practice, government economists apply VSL uniformly to all fatalities that fall within the scope of the specific regulation being studied. However, this approach underestimates regulatory benefits that reduce mortality risk to children. It is axiomatic that society prioritizes protecting the lives of children over the adult population and invests significantly in child safety. Therefore, the uniform application of VSL does not align with these societal preferences. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regularly assesses proposed regulations that address child safety. CPSC staff has begun exploring the current literature, best practices, and limitations of using an elevated VSL for mortality risk to children to estimate accurately the benefits of life-saving regulation for children. This presentation will share (1) the staff’s findings from its study of the current literature, best practices, and limitations of applying VSL for mortality risk to children; (2) how CPSC staff has applied these findings in a regulatory analysis; (3) lessons learned from this application in rulemaking; and (4) potential actions in the future to further standardize agency policy in applying VSL for mortality risk to children.
  • Valuing mortality risk reductions in Canada: An updated meta-analysis and policy guidance. .....Tsegaye Ginbo, University of Alberta; Vic Adamowicz, University of Alberta; Patrick Lloyd-Smith, University of Saskatchewan
  • The value of reduced mortality risk (VRMR) is a key element in the economic analysis of public policies. Mortality risk reduction often reflects the major proportion of the total benefits in the health, safety, and environmental policy analyses and thus accurate, updated measures of the VRMR are critical. We conduct a meta-analysis to update the VRMR estimate for Canada based on 158 estimates extracted from 18 primary studies published during 1989 - 2018. We use weighted least squares, clustered errors, and panel data regression procedures to address different empirical issues in our meta-analysis. Our analysis, based on preferred studies with representative samples, results in a weighted mean VRMR estimate of $13 million in 2020 Canadian dollars, while the lower and higher values from two alternative valuation methods range from about $10 million to $16.5 million. The updated mean VRMR is 37 percent higher than the existing VRMR estimate recommended by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. The meta-regression analysis also shows that the levels of baseline risk and risk reductions are among the main determinants of VRMR estimates. We recommend the application of an updated VRMR estimate in policy evaluations, as using the current measure can lead to misleading benefit and cost calculations and potentially inaccurate policy recommendations.
  • The impact of the health status on the valuation of air quality improvements. .....Bartosz Jusypenko, University of Warsaw, University of Alberta
  • Ambient air pollution, especially PMs, constitutes a major environmental risk to human health. WHO and EEA estimate that air pollution increases mortality causing tens of thousands of premature deaths in Poland each year. The design of effective policies aimed at improving air quality requires exploring public preferences towards associated benefits: health risk reductions. The potential heterogeneity of these preferences may be significantly attributable to one’s respiratory health, as pollution episodes are especially hazardous for those already suffering from chronic respiratory diseases. Their utility can be perceived as experienced or remembered utility and the utility of a healthy person as a decision utility (a standard economic concept). In this study, we elicit preferences for air quality improvements among residents of Polish cities. We apply a discrete choice experiment (DCE) to measure WTP for health benefits involved in these changes. The main objective of the study is to examine whether decision utility-based and experienced utility-based welfare measures for environmental changes differ from each other. We assume that experience of illness impacts the value associated with the reduction of negative health effects. Thus, we further employ MXL models to investigate potential heterogeneity in preferences associated with the respondent’s respiratory state. DCE scenario was described in a public setting. Respondents were asked to choose between two programs preventing non-fatal illnesses and premature deaths caused by PM pollution in their cities and the status quo option. The programs differed on the size of mortality and morbidity risk reductions, the time needed for implementation (number of years before the policy has an effect), and cost per household. Our results suggest that the respiratory state impacts an individual’s preferences for air quality improvements and associated health benefits. We conclude that decision utility-based and experienced utility-based welfare measures for environmental changes differ significantly.
15. Health [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 4:00 pm-5:30 pm | GWU Student Center 307

Chair: Simona Gamba, università degli studi di Milano
  • The creation of the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority: will we be more prepared for the next pandemic?. .....Simona Gamba, università degli studi di Milano; Massimo Florio, università degli studi di Milano
  • The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed vulnerabilities in global supply chains and in the way research priorities in the pharmaceutical sector are settled. Vaccines and therapies were not even at the late stage of development, and many countries around the World experienced shortages in key medical countermeasures, such as drugs, personal protective equipment, medical devices. To prevent above mentioned vulnerabilities in the future in case of new threats to health (due, among others, to pandemics, antimicrobial resistance, the consequences of climate change), Member States, the European Parliament, and non-governmental organisations have called for proactive EU level action. In the 2020 State of the Union address, President von der Leyen set out the necessity to create a stronger European Health Union. A central element among the initiatives undertaken in this context is the creation of HERA (European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority). The paper provides an overview of the main market failures characterizing the pharmaceutical sector and the European management of public health. We further analyse whether the new Authority is structured in such a way as to respond to current market failures. Although HERA may solve few fragilities, such as insufficient stockpiling, the lack of coordination in purchasing and unequal access to essential medical countermeasures among European countries, it leaves unsolved the problem of unmet medical needs due to the misalignment of priorities between public and private sectors.
16. STEM & Food [Individual Paper Presentations]
Thursday | 4:00 pm-5:30 pm | GWU Student Center 310

Chair: Sandra Hoffmann, USDA Economic Research Service
  • Gender Disparities in STEM Majors and Occupations: The Role of Early Skill Profiles. .....Shasha Wang, University of Pennsylvania; Petra Todd, University of Pennsylvania
  • This paper aims to analyze the factors underlying underrepresentation of women in certain STEM fields. Although there has been substantial male-female wage convergence over time, there remains a persistent gap among college graduates that has been shown to be attributable, in part, to males and females choosing different college majors and occupations. Majors in applied STEM fields, such as computer science and engineering, are among the highest paid and are also those in which the representation of women is 20% or lower. Occupation and industry segregation was recently found by Cortes and Pan (2018) to constitute the largest portion of the explained component of the gender wage gap in 2010. Using the NLSY79 and NLSY97 longitudinal datasets, this paper documents the adolescent skill (di)convergence by gender over the last four decades in terms of math, verbal, science, mechanical, and social skills and estimate machine learning models to identify the skills, high school course-taking and family background characteristics that are most predictive of one's educational attainment, choice of college major and occupation. I distinguish among non-STEM, pure-STEM and applied-STEM majors, as the pattern of female entry into pure-STEM and applied-STEM categories has been quite different. A nonparametric decomposition to empirically assess the relative importance of different factors is also performed. The results show that with men and women converging on math, administrative, science, and mechanical skills among the lower quintiles, the younger cohort displays less effect of skill gaps on major and occupation segregation. Although mechanical skills are found by the literature to constitute mainly the low-skilled workers’ human capital, this study finds that conditional on having a four-year college degree, the level of one’s mechanical skills is the most predictive factor of whether one chooses the applied-STEM fields, the most lucrative of all fields within this non/pure/applied-STEM taxonomy.
  • An Economic Evaluation of Industry and FDA's Efforts to Reduce the Incidence of Salmonella in Eggs: A Retrospective Analysis. .....Joseph Njau, US Food and Drug Administration; Elizabeth Kim, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Brad Brown, FDA; Gerardo Ramirez, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Travis Minor, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Introduction: Foodborne illnesses caused by Salmonella Enterica (SE) have been a major public health concern in the U.S. The federal government through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a rule for shell egg producers in 2004 to reduce the incidence and prevalence of SE during production, storage, and transportation nationwide. The rule was finalized in 2010 and became effective in 2013. We conduct a retrospective analysis of FDA’s shell-egg rule to evaluate its impact on SE-caused illnesses. Methods: We use the National Outbreak Response Surveillance (NORS) data for the period from 1999 to 2019. We adopt a Difference-in Difference framework to assess the before and after impacts of FDA’s shell-egg rule. We construct two models: a simple model that only investigates the association between shell-egg SE-related outbreaks; and a stricter model that controls for the size of shell-egg related SE illness outbreaks. Results: We find the publication of the rule is associated with a statistically significant reduction of salmonella related illnesses of approximately 268 cases per year. The rule did not have any significant impact on salmonella illnesses related to other food commodities. Controlling for the illness outbreak size and scope, as well as including fixed effects for pathogens, year, and food commodity, shows that both proposed and final rules increased the magnitude of reduction to a total of 282 cases per year. The rule was found to impact illness outbreaks as 6 fewer outbreaks per year were experienced. Conclusion: Both proposed and final rules have some measurable effects on public health. These results are consistent with previous studies which found the rule to have a public health effect in reducing shell-egg related salmonella illnesses. This retrospective analysis suggests that the policy was successful in improving total social welfare, by protecting public health.
  • The Economic Burden of Foodborne Illnesses in the US in 2022. .....Sandra Hoffmann, USDA Economic Research Service; Alice White, Colorado School of Public Health; Robert McQueen, Colorado School of Public Health; Jae-Wan Ahn, USDA Economic Research Service; Elaine Scallan Walter, Colorado School of Public Health
  • Since 1996, the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has maintained estimates of the cost of major foodborne illness estimates (ERS 2021). This presentation will report on preliminary results from a multi-year effort to extend the scope of these estimates and update all of the underlying disease outcome and cost modeling. Current estimates published in 2015 and updated to 2018 for inflation estimate the economic burden of 14 major foodborne illnesses acquired in the U.S. at $17.6 billion annually. This effort has several goals. The first is to expand USDA ERS cost of foodborne illness estimates to cover the 31 pathogen-specific and unspecified agents for which CDC has developed disease incidence estimates. This expands coverage of the USDA cost of foodborne illness estimates from 8.9 million cases of foodborne illness to 47.8 million (of which 9.4 million are due to known pathogens) (Hoffmann et al. 2012, Scallan et al. 2011a, 2011b). The second is to update all disease modeling underlying these estimates and associated cost estimates to reflect the most recent scientific literature and data available. This includes a focus on enhancing chronic sequelae modeling through new systematic and conventional literature review and expert consultation. The final goal is to enhance uncertainty modeling by embedding the cost and disease modeling in a Monte Carlo framework. Our preliminary results find foodborne illness in the U.S. imposes an economic burden of $59.4 billion annually. This includes $39 billion from acute illnesses and $20 billion from chronic outcomes. The 31 pathogens causing diagnosed disease cost a mean total of $37 billion and unspecified agents $22.4 billion. Mean per-case costs ranges from $3.2 million per case for Vibrio vulnificus, a marine bacteria, to $176 for Bacillus cereus.
17. Reception [Plenary]
Thursday | 6:00 pm-7:30 pm | GWU Grand Ballroom
18. Health - CEA & Viruses* [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 8:30 am-10:00 am | GWU Amphitheater

Chair: Tai Dinger, Harvard University
  • Cost Effectiveness of Masking vs Ventilation vs Surface Cleaning in Schools. .....Richard Bruns, Johns Hopkins University
  • I calculate the reductions in respiratory virus transmission that would likely be achieved in schools by different mitigation strategies, using as reference a $10 billion budget for public K-12 schools in the USA. Surface cleaning provides almost no benefit, ventilation improvements reduce transmission by 50% to 85%, and masking reduces transmission by 15% to 80%, depending on mask quality and compliance.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis versus Cost-Effectiveness Analysis from a Societal Perspective in Healthcare.. .....Robert J Brent, Fordham University
  • Background: The SBCA is built on the premise that Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is the best way to evaluate government expenditures and regulations. However, in the applied literature, the majority of evaluations consist of various forms of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA). The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast CBA and CEA in terms of: what types of information make up the categories of effects and benefits (for a given level of costs); and how the two types of evaluation determine which interventions would be funded, and which interventions can be judged socially worthwhile. To provide concrete examples, the comparisons between the two forms of evaluation are carried out in the context of results of health care evaluations in the literature related to dementia interventions. The dementia interventions results referred to are the new ones (related to years of education, Medicare eligibility, hearing aids, vision correction and not living in nursing homes) and the pharmacological interventions (related to medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration). The Analysis: The comparisons between CEA and CBA are carried in five stages. For Cost-Effectiveness Analysis there is CEA with a Budget Constraint, and CEA without a Budget Constraint. This is followed by an analysis of Cost-Utility Analysis (CUA) as CEA. For Cost-Benefit Analysis there is CBA carried in the form of CUA, and CBA not based on CUA. At each stage, either costs and effects, or costs and benefits, are presented for the new interventions. It is shown how arbitrary are decisions based just on CEA. Main Finding: Only CBA can indicate which interventions are socially worthwhile and therefore worth funding. It is time for evaluation practitioners to stop relying on CEA and use CBA instead.
  • Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Willingness to Pay, and the Value of Averting Nonfatal Illness. .....Lisa Robinson, Harvard University; Tai Dinger, Harvard University; James Hammitt, Harvard University
  • Benefit-cost analysis plays an important role in supporting evidence-based policy decisions, providing information on how individuals affected by a policy value the benefits they receive in comparison to the costs. However, its usefulness is hindered by the shortage of willingness to pay (WTP) estimates for many nonfatal health conditions. As a result, analysts may estimate monetary values of changes in nonfatal health effects by multiplying the estimated change in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) by a constant monetary value per QALY. Both theory and empirical research suggest that this approach is inconsistent with individual preferences: the monetary value per QALY is likely to depend on the severity and duration of the condition and other factors. Several studies now provide estimates of WTP per QALY for different health conditions. We combine their results to develop a nonlinear valuation function that describes WTP per QALY. While this approach is promising, it yields estimates that are relatively insensitive to the severity and duration of the health effect. The alternative approach of applying a constant value per QALY provides more plausible values and may continue to be a more desirable approach until supplanted by additional research.
19. Transportation & Infrastructure [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 8:30 am-10:00 am | GWU Student Center 302

Chair: Ardyn Nordstrom, Carleton University
  • The Evolution of the Gas Mega Rule. .....Gabriel Movsesyan, United States Department of Transportation; Ronald Raunikar, United States Department of Transportation
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) initiated a 2011 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and then a 2016 proposed rulemaking that significantly expanded the scope of coverage and safety requirements for gas transmission and gathering pipelines. This informally titled “Gas Mega Rule” was subsequently divided into three separate rulemakings that incorporated most of the provisions. PHMSA issued a 2019 gas transmission final rule that addressed numerous congressional mandates and safety recommendations, and a 2021 final rule that significantly expanded the scope of safety and reporting requirements for more than 400,000 miles of previously unregulated gas gathering lines. The last of the three final rules, strengthening the safety and environmental protection on more than 300,000 miles of onshore gas transmission pipelines, was published in 2022. In this case study of a unique sequence of rulemaking events, we describe and evaluate the evolution of the policy, impacts analysis, and cost-benefit considerations of the Gas Mega Rule. What are the lessons learned for regulatory impact analysis and for policy decision-making from splitting it up? What if the rulemaking proceeded as a Mega Rule? In this counterfactual scenario, we identify how net economic benefits, along with other ancillary benefits and costs, might have been different if estimated together. How was the analysis of one of the rules affected by uncertainty about completion of the other parts of the Mega Rule? We examine the specific conceptual and practical challenges this approach entailed, including consideration of safety and environmental outcomes, measures of effectiveness, agency resources and staffing requirements, integration of comments from the public and stakeholders into each stage of the rulemakings, and how changes over three administrations may have affected the prioritization and consideration of alternatives.
  • The Economic and Societal Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes, 2019. .....Larry (NHTSA) Blincoe, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • This presentation will discuss the results of a comprehensive study of the annual impacts of motor vehicle crashes. It will present the economic impacts of these crashes as well as valuation of societal harm which includes both economic costs and lost quality of life. The study presents both unit and aggregate costs for various levels of crash and injury outcomes. It also examines the source of payment for crash costs and provides specific analyses for behavioral risk factors such as alcohol use, speeding, distraction, and seat belt use. The presentation will also focus on technical considerations for use of this study’s findings in benefit cost analysis.
  • The Economic Value of Better Biking Infrastructure. .....Morgan Nordstrom, Carleton University; Ardyn Nordstrom, Carleton University
  • Cities across North America are investing in infrastructure and policies that make cycling and active transportation safer and more accessible. This includes “Complete Streets,” a type of urban infrastructure policy that integrates cycling lanes, pedestrian paths and redesigned roadways to safely accommodate all users, regardless of their mode of transportation. The Complete Streets design approach is currently being promoted by hundreds of municipalities across both the United States and Canada. Despite this interest, there is very little evidence on the economic impact of these types of investments. Our work fills this gap by providing one of North America’s first benefit-cost analyses of cycling infrastructure projects. We focus on new Complete Street infrastructure built in Toronto between 2015 and 2020. During this time, the city developed 7 new Complete Street improvements across the city’s downtown core, investing between $780,000 and $128 million per street (roughly $50M per street on average). To study the economic value of these investments we have developed a novel dataset that includes the universe of real estate listings from the Greater Toronto Area between December 1999 and February 2020, which is not publicly accessible. Our analysis relies on a unique counterfactual setting that allows us to estimate the economic value of the Complete Streets by using changes in property values to monetize the value associated with enhanced neighbourhood amenities around these improvements and increased access to the broader cycling network. To estimate the economic impacts related to improved pedestrian safety, we have linked this data to the Toronto Police Service’s dataset documenting the last twenty years of serious traffic incidents. We also combine these findings with secondary evidence on the environmental impact of Complete Streets in other jurisdictions to determine the overall economic value of these investments.
20. Energy & Climate [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 8:30 am-10:00 am | GWU Student Center 307

Chair: Lori Bennear, Duke University
  • New guidance for considering climate change in international development CBA. .....Benjamin Bryant, Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • The connections between climate change and economic development are now clear, just as it is clear that climate change impacts are already being felt today. It is therefore critical that development agencies incorporate fulsome consideration of climate hazards -- and opportunities to protect against them -- into the project design process. Omitting such consideration can lead to failure to achieve project objectives and millions of dollars in reduced benefits to partner country populations. At the same time, not all climate-adaptation elements of a design are necessarily cost-effective, necessitating the need to apply cost-benefit analysis, despite the present of significant and often poorly characterized uncertainty. This talk will describe the process and product of a partnership between the Millennium Challenge Corporation and a consortium led by the University of Massachusetts (with University of Cincinnati, Industrial Economics, and Pegasys) to develop and deploy climate-informed cost-benefit analysis within the agency. The approach developed derives from “Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty” methods, and advocates thoroughly exploring project performance across the space of possible climate futures. These are then used to facilitate transparent assessment of the costs and benefits of measures to reduce vulnerabilities associated with those different futures.
  • Implications of BOEM's Economic and GHG Emissions Estimation Methods. .....Andrew Baxter, American Petroleum Institute
  • In July 2022, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released their National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for the years 2023-2028. In this document, BOEM estimates the impact of offshore lease sales—including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, incremental economic benefits, and changes in foreign oil consumption—relative to a no lease sale alternative. BOEM also requests feedback on incorporating net zero emissions scenarios in future lease sale analyses. This paper reviews three aspects of BOEM’s net economic and GHG emissions estimates. First, we use BOEM’s estimates along with different long run price elasticities, to demonstrate the variation in foreign oil consumption. Second, we discuss the implication of BOEM’s three production scenarios, i.e., activity cases and their interaction with MarketSim. Third, we examine potential factors that BOEM should consider if net zero emissions are incorporated in future analysis.
  • Environmental Racism without Race?: Evaluating the Energy Justice impacts of Renewables in the Southeastern US. .....Lori Bennear, Duke University; Jianxing Wan, Duke University
  • There is widespread recognition that electricity generation must transition to renewable energy sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help reduce the damages from climate change. But there are grave concerns that the benefits of the clean energy transition will not be accessible to lower-income, Black, Indigenous, and other households of color (BIPOC) and that some types of renewable energy may recreate the same energy injustices present in the fossil fuel economy. The Biden Administration has focused greater attention on environmental and energy justice, but there is ongoing debate on how to define an environmental justice community, particularly whether race can legally be used when allocating resources to these communities. This research compares the energy justice impacts of renewable energy sources using different definitions of what constitutes and environmental justice community. In particular, we compare definitions that only focus on race and income (e.g., the New Jersey definition), to definitions that rely on a full set of environmental and sensitivity indicators but do not explicitly use race and income (e.g., the California CALEnviroScreen definition), and a definition that weights environmental exposures by race and income (e.g. the US EPA EJScore definition). We use these three definitions to investigate the environmental justice impacts of expansion of renewable biofuels from wood pellets and hog farm waste, two fuel sources frequently classified as renewable but with significant environmental footprints in North Carolina and the Southeastern United States. For North Carolina we find our preliminary results indicate that the definition of an EJ community does matter. Particularly when race is excluded from the definition (as is currently the case in California and is proposed under new Federal U.S. EJ definitions) the environmental justice impacts of wood pellet and hog biogas production are estimated to be lower than when using definitions that explicitly consider race.
21. Valuation and values [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 8:30 am-10:00 am | GWU Student Center 310

Chair: Amanda Walsh, RTI International
  • Economic Analysis of Equity Value in Infrastructure Projects. .....Chris Behr, HDR
  • This presentation provides an update from a 2022 SBCA presentation which outlined a research plan for exploring methods to conduct weighted BCAs for infrastructure projects. The principal finding from this research is that weighted BCAs provide practical and potentially important contributions to project evaluations as a distributional analysis, as described in federal BCA guidelines. These analyses build upon existing BCA and determine a broader measure of societal value by using weights to reflect individual beneficiaries’ marginal utilities of incomes. This presentation will discuss research findings related to: (1) identifying and processing income distribution data for different types of infrastructure; (2) developing weights with normalization constants; (3) approaches to adjusting weights for different types of benefit categories; (4) analyzing distribution of cost burden and benefits related to projects; and (5) analyzing and interpreting results. Case studies for several types of infrastructure will be discussed. This presentation will conclude with thoughts on additional areas of research and plans for collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies.
  • The Neglect of Loss Aversion in Economics.. .....Richard Zerbe, University of Washingto; Richard Hamilton, World Bank (retired)
  • The paper presents and defends the following propositions: 1. Loss aversion, the finding that losses are valued more highly than equivalent gains, justifies focusing on alleviating losses. 2. Loss alleviation actions are ubiquitous and often taken by agents other than the losers. 3. The actions are often carried out through public service and altruistic behavior. 4. They contribute greatly to economic growth by avoiding reductions in output. 5. The avoided reductions do not get into measured GDP. 6. Loss aversion increases the benefits from compensation to losers from policies and projects. 7. When loss aversion is present, compensation for a loss brings a larger benefit than providing a corresponding gain to the same person. 8. Compensating for the loss of a poor person brings a larger benefit than corresponding help to a better-off person.
  • Measuring the Value of CSIRO with an Increasing Portfolio of BCA Case Studies. .....Amanda Walsh, RTI International; Jonathan Merker, RTI International; Alison Bean de Hernandez, RTI International; Alan O'Connor, RTI International
  • The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science agency. CSIRO invests broadly and holistically across the spectrum of innovation to deliver impact, competitiveness, health and security, and environmental stewardship to current and future generations of Australians. CSIRO assesses the value it delivers to Australia using an increasing portfolio of impact case studies – about 25 per year – covering various programs and initiatives. To date, each case study was completed either by CSIRO’s internal impact evaluation team or by one of six external institutions. CSIRO publishes 'Impact Evaluation Guidelines' prescribing consistent assessment methods for all case studies. CSIRO also commissions bi-annual assessments of the collective impact measured by the studies. RTI International prepared the 2020 and 2022 'Value of CSIRO' reports. For each, we reviewed and updated every case study in the portfolio (N=112 in 2022) to synthesise inflation and discounting methods. We generated an aggregate time series of benefits and costs across all studies that monetised the value of activities initiated in the last 25 years (N=68 in 2022). To reduce uncertainty, we removed benefit and cost projections beyond 10 years for each study. We used the resulting time series to estimate Australia’s return on investment in CSIRO’s activities covered in the portfolio. The portfolio method of benefit-cost-analysis employed by CSIRO has numerous benefits. Participating business units receive rapid assessments of impact through the continuous commissioning of case studies. As the portfolio of studies grows, each bi-annual value assessment provides a more robust picture of CSIRO’s impact. The consistent application of assessment methods across contractors, verified through rigorous quality monitoring, enables case study comparability. Applying consistent assessment methods to the bi-annual value reports further increases the reliability of aggregate impact estimates. This portfolio method could yield similar benefits for other large federal or non-government institutions.
22. Policy Analysis & BCA: Similarities, Differences, and Opportunities for Alignment* [Roundtable [In Person]]
Friday | 8:30 am-10:00 am | GWU Grand Ballroom

Organizer: Peter Linquiti, George Washington University
Chair: Peter Linquiti, George Washington University

  • Linda Abbott, U.S. Department of Agriculture;
  • Karen Baehler, American University;
  • Peter Linquiti, George Washington University;
  • Marquise McGraw, American University;
23. Keynote: The Discounting Premium Puzzle (Christian Gollier)* [Plenary]
Friday | 10:15 am-11:45 am | GWU Grand Ballroom

Chair: James Hammitt, Harvard University
24. SBCA Business Meeting & Awards Luncheon* [Plenary]
Friday | 12:00 pm-1:30 pm | GWU Grand Ballroom

Chair: Henrik Andersson, Toulouse School of Economics
25. Best Practices to Address Equitable and Just Resilience Amid Increasingly Complex Climate Risks* [Roundtable/Panel]
Friday | 1:45 pm-3:15 pm | GWU Amphitheater

Organizers: Jia Li, World Bank; Elisabeth Gilmore, Carleton University; Jennifer Helgeson, National Institute of Standards and Technology;
Chair: Glenn Blomquist, University of Kentucky

  • Jia Li, World Bank;
  • Margaret Walls, Resources for the Future;
  • Bramka Jafino, World Bank;
  • Amy Bailey, C2ES;
  • Jennifer Helgeson, National Institute of Standards and Technology;
  • Glenn Blomquist, University of Kentucky;
26. Health Valuation 2* [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 1:45 pm-3:15 pm | GWU Grand Ballroom

Chair: Megan Sheahan, Industrial Economics, Inc.
  • Monetary values of increasing life expectancy: sensitivity to shifts of the survival curve. .....James Hammitt, Harvard University; Tuba Tuncel, Florida State University
  • Individuals’ monetary values of decreases in mortality risk depend on the magnitude and timing of the risk reduction. We elicited stated preferences among three time paths of risk reduction yielding the same increase in life expectancy (decreasing risk for the next decade, subtracting a constant from or multiplying risk by a constant in all future years) and willingness to pay (WTP) for risk reductions differing in timing and life-expectancy gain. Respondents exhibited heterogeneous preferences over the alternative time paths, with almost 90 percent reporting transitive orderings. WTP is statistically significantly associated with life-expectancy gain (between about 7 and 28 days) and to a limited degree with respondents’ stated preferences over the alternative time paths. Estimated value per statistical life year (VSLY) averages about $500,000, roughly consistent with conventional estimates obtained by dividing estimated value per statistical life by discounted life expectancy.
  • Value of a (Statistical) Life Year (VSLY) – the role of discounting for delay. .....Rebecca McDonald, University of Birmingham; Danae Arroyos Calvera, University of Birmingham; Susan Chilton, Newcastle University; Jytte Seested Nielsen, Newcastle University
  • How does the Value of a (Statistical) Life Year (VSLY) depend on the timing of the risk reductions that deliver it? Using a large (n=1660) survey, we elicit preferences over VSLYs delivered through risk reductions at different times, derive personal discount factor estimates underpinning the VSLY, and establish how preferences for different VSLY types depend on these discount factors. The survey includes a substantial learning phase to familiarize participants with conditional risk sequences. Armed with this understanding, participants complete a series of iterated choices between hypothetical policy options, personalised to their age and sex, that reduce their risks of dying in future decades. The options are distinguished by the decade(s) in which the risk reductions would occur. We contribute to the growing empirical research on direct elicitation of preferences over life expectancy gains (e.g. Nielsen et al., 2010; Hammitt and Tuncel, 2015) and provide further evidence that people differ in their preferred VSLY type (one-off risk reductions vs ongoing risk reductions vs risk reductions that grow over time), showing how time preferences explain some of this variation. Our contribution is important for three reasons: it generates evidence about the time preference rates for policy analysis; sheds light on the reasons for preferences between VSLY types; and provides a means of empirically bridging between Value of Statistical Life (VSL) and the VSLY. Hammitt, J. K., & Tunçel, T. (2015). Preferences for life-expectancy gains: Sooner or later?. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 51(1), 79-101. Nielsen, J. S., Chilton, S., Jones-Lee, M., & Metcalf, H. (2010). How would you like your gain in life expectancy to be provided? An experimental approach. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 41(3), 195-218.
  • Using a New Dataset to Value Avoided Injuries in Regulatory Analyses. .....Megan Sheahan, Industrial Economics, Inc.; William Raich, Industrial Economics, Inc.; Jennifer Baxter, Industrial Economics, Inc.; Janel Hanmer, University of Pittsburgh
  • In benefit-cost analysis of proposed regulations, a key challenge for Federal agencies is estimating the value of resulting risk reductions, including changes in the risk of nonfatal injury. Currently, the available economics literature provides few estimates of individual willingness to pay (WTP) for reducing the risk of injury. In the absence of WTP estimates, Federal agencies commonly rely on proxy values for WTP that may include medical costs, lost productivity, and quality-adjusted life year (QALY) loss. In most instances, the QALY loss estimates rely on a foundational study that is nearly four decades old and uses judgments from medical professionals as opposed to patients themselves. Our work leverages more recent data (2002-2015) from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to estimate nationally representative QALY loss from injury and poisoning conditions based on the survey responses from individuals who experienced the injuries. We developed a novel regression-based approach for estimating quality of life losses sustained up to three years after an injury event, and we use statistical power calculations to identify injuries where the data suggest negligible loss occurred. Because regulations often target reductions in the most severe injuries, we also attempt to differentiate losses based on hospitalization status. Our results include statistically significant three-year QALY loss estimates for 17 of the 28 injury groups of interest and partial estimates for an additional 7 groups.
27. International (LMIC) 2 [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 1:45 pm-3:15 pm | GWU Student Center 307

Chair: Mikhail Miklyaev, Cambridge Resources International Inc
  • Social Value of Time Estimation in Developing Countries (A practical application in Mozambique, Uganda, and Ghana). .....Mikhail Miklyaev, Cambridge Resources International Inc; Glenn Jenkins, Queens University, Canada; Majid Hashemi, Queen's University
  • Public sector projects can potentially lead to time savings for citizens and firms in a country. Such projects either facilitate better utilization of existing capital stocks or provide public services to areas without access to those services (e.g., water supply and sanitation projects). Our approach for estimating the social value of time is based on the opportunity cost of time. With diverse preferences among individuals, it is expected that the social value of time savings ranges from the prevailing market wages to as low as zero. For instance, taxi drivers, truck drivers, and traveling sales personnel will be more productive over their active working hours if they can travel at a higher average speed on the road. On the opposite extreme, there are some individuals whose supply price of time in each activity is essentially zero: children on a road trip, women socializing with other women in their community while fetching drinking water from remote sources, or retired people enjoying the opportunity to go for a drive or to socialize with friends while waiting in a queue. Between these two extremes, there is a distribution of values for the social value of time for individuals facing an array of opportunity costs. The social value of time for this group of individuals is greater than zero but less than the market wage. Thus, the expected social value of time saved by an intervention (the expected benefit) should be estimated as a weighted average of the social value of time for these three groups. The study greatly contributes to the economic evaluation of public sector expenditures in sectors such as transportation, water supply and sanitation, ICT and digitalization, and enhancement of the efficiency of public services.
  • Strategic Response to External Reference Pricing regulation in the pharmaceutical sector. .....Simona Gamba, università degli studi di Milano; Paolo Pertile, università di Verona; Giovanni Righetti, università di Verona
  • One of the main tools adopted by regulators to curb the growth of pharmaceutical spending is external reference pricing (ERP), that is the computation of a benchmark price based on publicly available pricing data from one or more other countries included in a reference set. When the ERP criterion is widely adopted (as in the EU), decisions made in different countries are linked. Thus, although ERP is adopted in the home country in order to set lower pharmaceutical prices, its adoption may have some unexpected consequences on prices in foreign countries. In particular, pharmaceutical manufacturers might exert more effort in negotiating higher prices in countries belonging to the reference set of other countries. We analyse this unexpected consequence of ERP through a theoretical model. Our theoretical predictions are confirmed using a Difference-in-Differences empirical strategy that exploits the introduction of the ERP policy in Germany in 2011 (AMNOG bill). We use IMS pricing data for 75 cancer drugs in 25 countries to show the existence of a strategic response by manufacturers in those countries that have been included in the German reference set. This suggests that manufacturers have, in fact, exerted more effort in bargaining with foreign countries to affect German prices, in line with the prediction of Garcia Marinoso et al. (2011). Our work highlights how the design of domestic pharmaceutical regulations has an impact that goes beyond national borders.
28. Benefit-Cost Analysis, Addiction, and Individual Preferences* [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 3:30 pm-5:00 pm | GWU Amphitheater

Organizer: Don Kenkel, Cornell University
Chair: Don Kenkel, Cornell University
  • Flexibility through Delay. .....Lena Song, Columbia University; Hunt Allcott, Microsoft Research; Matthew Gentzkow, Stanford University; Houda Nait El Barj, Stanford University; Carl Meyer, Stanford University
  • People who think they are time inconsistent would like to commit to future actions but also want flexibility to respond to uncertainty. We study one partial solution to this tradeoff, flexibility through delay, in which people can relax a previous commitment, but only if there is a delay before consumption. We show theoretically how flexibility through delay can increase long-run welfare, especially if temptation decays quickly and/or people are partially naive. We demonstrate the idea using a field experiment where we allow smartphone users to set screen time limits that can be relaxed, but consumption can begin again only after a randomly assigned delay. The results provide textbook evidence of commitment-flexibility tradeoffs: consumers assigned to shorter delays set tighter limits and relax the limits more. We use the data to estimate the parameters of a dynamic temptation model, which suggests that much of the temptation to use social media decays within two minutes. Both the model and additional survey evidence suggest that flexibility through delay would benefit consumers relative to the screen time limits currently offered by both iOS and Android smartphones, which allow full flexibility with zero delay.
  • Valuing Withdrawal in Benefit-Cost Analysis. .....Aaron Kearsley, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Benefit-cost analyses of federal regulations apply a standard approach for discounting impacts occurring in the future, using constant real discount rates of 3% and 7%. These discount rates are intended to reflect society’s preferences; however, for policies that address internalities associated with myopia or time inconsistency, this approach to discounting will necessarily diverge from the preferences of individuals impacted by the policies unless the internalities are modeled in the undiscounted estimates. Thus, the default approach to discounting will tend to undervalue the short-term consequences of withdrawal from an addictive good relative to the long-term gains of sustained cessation. This presentation demonstrates the implications of adopting alternative approaches to discounting using standard tools of benefit-cost-analysis to value the consequences of withdrawal from the perspective of an individual with an addiction. It considers the specific case of the short-term costs of withdrawal from products containing nicotine from the perspective of an individual addicted to nicotine. It also considers the implications of incorporating evidence of the variation in severity of withdrawal symptoms across nicotine users to explain the variation in behavioral responses to policies addressing nicotine addiction.
  • The Costs of FDA Tobacco Regulations: A Case Study of the Proposed Prohibition of Menthol Cigarettes. .....Don Kenkel, Cornell University; Alan Mathios, Cornell University; Grace Phillips, Cornell University; Hua Wang, Cornell University; Sen Zeng, Cornell University
  • The FDA has recently proposed the prohibition of menthol cigarettes, which will be its most significant use to date of its regulatory authority over tobacco products. Prohibition of menthol cigarettes – which are smoked by over 18 million adults in the US – would be a significant use of federal regulatory authority more generally. However, the FDA’s published estimates of the regulatory costs are small ($0.08 per pack) because the FDA does not quantify the opportunity costs imposed on consumers. We provide a case study that quantifies the regulatory costs menthol prohibition imposes on consumers. The case study contributes to tobacco regulatory analysis, and to the analysis of other regulatory actions such as energy efficiency and fuel economy standards that might reduce internalities consumers impose on their future selves. To study menthol prohibition, we designed and conducted an online discrete choice experiment (DCE). We use the DCE data to estimate a mixed logit/random coefficients model of menthol smokers’ preferences over cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and quitting; the DCE experimentally varied the product attributes of price and legal availability. We use the estimated consumer choice model to complete two exercises in cost-benefit analysis (CBA). We first complete a simple CBA that compares the costs imposed on continuing smokers to the benefits of reducing smoking-related externalities. The prohibition does not lead to any health benefits for continuing menthol smokers, but they will experience utility losses, such as inconvenience costs and the perceived risks of a police interaction or arrest. Based on our choice model’s estimates of the value of the utility losses, we calculate that the prohibition of menthol imposes between $23.2 billion (illegal retail market) and $30 billion (illegal street market) of costs annually on continuing menthol smokers. In our second CBA exercise, we account for the value of reduced internalities to the smokers themselves. We use our estimated consumer choice model to calculate the compensating variations (CVs) in income for menthol prohibition with respect to experienced utility. After accounting for internalities, we calculate that menthol prohibition imposes between $11 billion (illegal retail market) and $13.7 billion (illegal street market) of regulatory costs on consumers annually. If the prohibition of menthol cigarettes is accompanied by a de facto prohibition of menthol-flavored e-cigarettes, we estimate that the annual regulatory costs are between $19.1 billion (illegal retail market) and $23.8 billion (illegal street market). Our preliminary estimates of the regulatory costs of menthol prohibition range from smaller to somewhat larger than the estimated $18.9 billion of life-saving benefits from the reduced externalities from smoking.
  • Dan Acland, University of California at Berkeley;
29. Cost-Benefit Analysis at USAID* [Roundtable/Panel]
Friday | 3:30 pm-5:00 pm | GWU Grand Ballroom

Organizer: Bahman Kashi, Limestone Analytics
Chair: Bahman Kashi, Limestone Analytics

  • Eric Hyman, USAID;
  • Camille Parker, USAID;
  • Rachel Bahn, Limestone-Analytics;
30. Transportation - Valuation/Benefits [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 3:30 pm-5:00 pm | GWU Student Center 302

Chair: Jung Bae, KPMG
  • Congestion charges and property prices: an empirical analysis of the effects of congestion charges in Gothenburg. .....Henrik Andersson, Toulouse School of Economics; Peter Karpestam, Malmö University; Peter Molnar, University of Gothenburg; Mikael Ögren, University of Gothenburg
  • We analyze how the introduction of congestion charges in Gothenburg in 2013 affected the prices of condominiums. Using hedonic price regressions and employing a geographical regression discontinuity approach, our baseline regressions suggest that congestion charges reduced the prices of condominiums inside the toll zone by about 7 percent compared to the control group (other condominiums in Gothenburg outside the toll zone). However, results are sensitive against limiting the sample to units that are close to the toll zone border. With a reduced sample, our results suggest weaker negative effects (about 2-3 percent).
  • Valuation of the Societal Benefits of Livable Street Improvements. .....Mark Seaman, New York City DOT; Elena Chiari, Steer; Lucile Kellis, KPMG; Pierre Vilain, KPMG
  • As cities increasingly focus on upgrading streets to attract pedestrians and encourage a shift from automobiles, there is a need for tools to evaluate the benefit-cost of livable streets projects. There is a growing literature on the benefits of urban spaces in fostering the depth and wealth of the urban fabric of cities, but there are no established values for practitioners to use to assess the benefits of improving the public realm in cities. This paper describes a novel valuation methodology and provides monetized valuations of pedestrian plazas and streetscape amenities such as landscaped medians, trees, and city benches for use in Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA). The valuations presented in this paper are estimated using stated preference survey techniques with innovative payment mechanisms to obtain monetized valuations of the improvements. The presentation reviews the challenges of various payment mechanisms by which respondents trade off the value of an amenity present in an SP setting, and how these payment mechanisms are used to derive a valuation for the improvements. A behavioral survey was conducted with a sample of over 1,000 New York City residents. The analysis of the SP survey responses shows that city plaza values in New York City range between $3.50 and $4.50; and that specific plaza amenities and streetscape improvements such as planters and trees, public art, tables and chairs, and wide sidewalks have values ranging from $0.10 to $1.75. This work is notable as it proposes a practical methodology to assess the value that city residents place on public spaces and amenities for BCA and project appraisal purposes. The methodology can be extended to value societal benefits of other urban amenities such as bike lanes or green spaces.
  • Wider Economic Benefits of Intercity High-Speed Rail: Evidence from the Northeast Corridor. .....Jung Bae, KPMG; Lucile Kellis, KPMG; Kerda Varaku, KPMG; Pierre Vilain, KPMG
  • There is a growing literature on Wider Economic Benefits (WEBs) of public transport investments, but there are no established values for practitioners to use to assess the agglomeration benefits of improving accessibility to major economic centers. This paper describes a practical valuation methodology that can be used to assess the agglomeration benefits of investments in infrastructure, and we provide a case study with monetized valuations of agglomeration benefits for use in intercity rail benefit-cost analysis.  In this paper we leverage the introduction of the Acela high-speed rail service in the northeastern United States in 2000 to estimate the productivity (wage) impact of intercity high-speed rail. Using microdata from the American Community Survey as well as county-aggregated and interpolated Census data, we apply difference-in-differences and synthetic control designs to compare the wage growth of counties served by the Acela to observationally similar counties. Our wage impact analysis shows that the introduction of Acela in select cities along the Northeast Corridor generated increases of $1,000 to $2,000 per year in the average annual income of households in specific industries such as the finance and professional services sectors. This work is notable as it proposes a practical methodology to assess the wider economic benefits of high-speed rail and more generally any infrastructure investment on the productivity of the communities impacted.
31. Water 1 [Individual Paper Presentations]
Friday | 3:30 pm-5:00 pm | GWU Student Center 307

Chair: Jennifer Helgeson, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Improving Water Quality in Ohio. .....Michael Hartnett, Scioto Analysis; Rob Moore, Scioto Analysis
  • When benchmarked against other U.S. states, one of the indicators that Ohio falls furthest below the national average is in water quality, partially due to its reliance on heavy industry and large-scale agriculture. In this study, we conduct a benefit-cost analysis of alternatives to improve water quality in the state of Ohio. This study is part research project, part educational project, as it is part of a series of benefit-cost analyses we have conducted in order to demonstrate how benefit-cost analysis can be a tool for analysis of state-level policies in Ohio. For this reason, we have worked balance to make this benefit-cost rigorous in methodology while also understandable to the layperson or policymaker interested in increasing the use of benefit-cost analysis at the state level. Our use of data focuses on data from public sources in order to demonstrate how benefit-cost analysis can be carried out by public agencies in Ohio, and applies a benefit-cost framework, looking at the costs and benefits of different interventions to improve water quality in the state.
  • Accounting for Sea Level Rise in Benefit-Cost Analysis of Coastal Flood Mitigation Projects. .....Kaveh Zomorodi, Dewberry
  • Benefit-cost analysis (BCA) of flood mitigation in coastal areas has traditionally used stationary values of design tidal elevations. However, the gradual impact of sea level rise (SLR) could turn future flood hazard intensities into a non-stationary time series. There is no standard way of accounting for the gradually increasing flood magnitudes in the BCA of a coastal flood mitigation project. Previous studies by the author showed that, theoretically, different levels of flood risk may be impacted differently by SLR. To avoid overly complicated statistical calculations, a common practice is to assume that all levels of coastal flood elevations will simply increase by the depth of the SLR. Even with this simplifying assumption, it is not clear for what duration the SLR needs to be added to current tidal elevations. Many coastal flood mitigation projects have a theoretical project useful life (PUL) ranging from 30 to 50 years. Using the tidal elevations at the end of the PUL in the BCA amounts to overestimating the flood risk for all future years prior to the end of PUL. A consistent set of tidal elevations needs to be used in the BCA for before and after mitigation conditions. Because the mitigation would also need to be designed for the end of PUL conditions, this practice leads to over-design and increased project cost. A more realistic BCA with reduced project costs could be developed with a more balanced way of incorporating the additional risk posed by SLR. The concept of equivalent risk was previously developed by the author to help decide how many years into the future the SLR needed to be added to the current flood elevations. The equivalent risk ensures that while accounting for SLR, the overall risk of failure during PUL will remain the same as it would be for the current flood elevations in the absence of SLR. A simplified version of the equivalent risk method identifies the SLR at the year corresponding to 60% of the PUL duration as the balanced SLR depth. For non-linear SLR trends, this depth would be slightly less than 60% of the SLR depth at the end of PUL. For example, for a mitigation project with a PUL of 50 years, the SLR for the first 30 years from now should be used in the BCA. Several example BCAs were conducted using various options for accounting for the impact of the SLR. This presentation includes the results of these example BCA runs. The inclusion of the SLR, generally increases the mitigation project benefit-cost ratio (BCR). Using the SLR at the end of the PUL generally leads to a larger BCR than using the SLR at 60% of the PUL. However, the 60% of the PUL option would be a more balanced risk management option that could identify a less costly but still cost-effective mitigation project.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis for Resilience: Moving from Theoretical to Practical. .....Jennifer Helgeson, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Renee Collini, Mississippi State University and Sea Grant
  • Repeatedly coastal professionals have indicated being able to conduct benefit-cost analyses (BCAs) for different resilience actions is a top priority. Unfortunately, many local and regional organizations lack the capacity to do their own BCAs or the resources to spend on outside expertise. To help address this gap in capacity, the Program for Local Adaptation to Climate Effects: Sea-Level Rise (PLACE) has been working with individual stakeholders, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and local and regional economists to undertake CBAs for specific climate adaptation projects. After conducting three different CBAs, each of which addressed the benefits of different adaptation measures in the face of rising seas, several challenges and lessons learned were identified. An existing tool, the Economic Decision Guide Software (EDGe$), provides support for non-economists by outlining the categories of inputs needed and performing the mathematical analyses to determine the benefit-cost ratios, net present value, and other relevant terms for assessing the quantitative value of different adaptation options. EDGe$ provides a useful foundation—for example users are encouraged to input co-benefits. Yet, even with the software and example guidance, users need a comprehensive understanding of what individual components of a project should be applied to which input category. In our case studies it took months of full-time work to effectively scope, research inputs, and conduct the CBAs. Municipal staff are highly unlikely to have this kind of time, especially among under-resourced communities. To reduce the level of effort required to successfully conduct CBAs for potential adaptation actions, we propose developing checklists of general inputs and additional considerations across a wide variety of adaptation activities. The checklists will describe what specific inputs are necessary for different types of projects and considerations around issues such as discount value, externalities, and non-quantifiable factors.
32. COVID-19 and Health Policy: Some Results From Two Large Surveys in China [Individual Paper Presentations]
Monday | 5:45 am-7:15 am | Online: Virtual Room 1

Organizer: Jiakun Zheng, Renmin University of China
Chair: Jiakun Zheng, Renmin University of China
  • Attitudes toward policy-driven unequal mortality risk: Survey evidence from seven provinces in China. .....Jiakun Zheng, Renmin University of China; Jianhua Xu, Peking University
  • Public programs designed to reduce the risk of death tend to affect different populations differently. Especially if it is a matter of life and death, direct money transfers to compensate disadvantaged groups may not be ideal from an ex-ante point of view. Therefore, it is important for policymakers to understand whether people have specific attitudes about the unevenly distributed risk of death. For example, if people are averse to ex ante risk inequality, they may not choose policies that are very effective in reducing overall mortality risk but result in very large risk inequality. To answer this question, we surveyed more than 7,000 Chinese citizens from seven provinces in September 2022. Respondents were asked to choose between six different policies that would impose varying degrees of mortality risk on the same two groups of people. By looking at respondents' choices, we can estimate an individual's level of aversion to risk inequality. We also collect individual socio-demographic information such as age, gender, income, education, etc. We empirically investigate whether individual characteristics explain their attitudes toward policy-driven risk inequality.
  • Counterfactual thinking and public attitude toward risk policies —— the case of covid-19. .....Jianhua Xu, Peking University; Jiakun Zheng, Renmin University of China
  • Counterfactual thinking is the process of imagining what might have been. In the private sphere, it’s found to be linked with people’s psychological health. In the public sphere, it might affect public attitude toward risk policies. With a sample of 7000 respondents, we examined the relationship between the counterfactual consequences in people’s mind and their support for the dynamic zero-covid policy in China. We found that those who imagined the counterfactual consequences as “daily life and economy being severely impacted, hospitals overwhelmed, and a large number of deaths incurred” tend to support the dynamic zero-covid policy, while those who imagined the counterfactual consequences as “daily life and economy being slightly impacted, and consequences being acceptable” tend to oppose to the dynamic zero-covid policy. Among the control variables, perceived health risks posed by covid-19, perceived benefit, and cost of adopting the dynamic zero-covid policy, experiences during the past two years and educational level all are significant predictors of the dynamic zero-covid policy. Our findings suggest that providing information on the most probable counterfactual consequences by the authorities may help reduce the divergence among the public regarding the policies for coping with covid-19.
  • An exploration of healthcare cadres’ sensemaking at the onset of the COVID-19: a study based on a survey data from five provinces in China. .....Xiaoli Lu, Tsinghua University; Enying Zheng, Peking University; Lei Sun, Fudan University
  • In hindsight, the COVID-19 pandemic is truly a global catastrophe, a phenomenon which brings unprecedented challenges to the world (Bostrom and Cirkovic 2008). As an emerging infectious disease (EID), the prolonged and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created ambiguities and uncertainties for sensemaking—the process by which people give meaning to their collective experiences (Weick 1995). Among others, healthcare cadre are especially important to interpret cues amidst various noises, inform decision makers what the next might be, and advise what society-wide measures we should take to control the potential spread of an EID (Baekkeskov 2016). Their interaction with politicians/authorities during the crucially early response phase of the COVID-19 outbreak has triggered heated debates (Rubin and de Vries 2020, Salajan et al. 2020, Stevens 2020). Existing literature underlines the interaction dynamics between public health experts and politicians, risk communication of experts towards the public. However, we know little about how these healthcare cadres themselves perceive the risk of EID in general, when they enacted the COVID-19 (formerly a pneumonia of unknown etiology) as a public health threat with significant concern, whether their early sensemaking of the COVID-19 was affected by different educational background, expertise, experiences of emergency response or leadership. After the first wave of the COVID-19, how do they evaluate their sensemaking capacity? As the first country to experience the initial breakout of the COVID-19, understanding the early sensemaking behavior of the Chinese healthcare cadres could inform future mechanism design of managing EID risks. This research will answer the above research questions based on a survey of top and middle level healthcare cadres (N=7740) from five provinces in China in July, 2020.
33. Policy - Mix [Individual Paper Presentations]
Monday | 5:45 am-7:15 am | Online: Virtual Room 2

Chair: Lena Nerhagen, Dalarna University
  • Introducing a social welfare mechanism in rail infrastructure procurement. .....Kristoferf Odolinski, Swedish National Road and Transport research Institute; Johan Nyström, ABT Associates; Jan-Eric Nilsson, Swedish National Road and Transport institute
  • One consequence of the institutional separation of railway infrastructure from train operations in Europe is a misalignment of incentives where the actions of either party may create costs to a third party. There is a void in the literature on how the implementation of infrastructure construction and maintenance can be designed to consider external costs of track works experienced by the train operators and their customers. The purpose of the paper is to illustrate how standard principles and parameter values for identification of efficient projects also are applicable when establishing how the job should be executed. A textbook version of the first best criterion for cost minimisation provides the platform for the analysis. The production of a new or replacement of existing assets is modelled to require two inputs: 1) a composite of the standard activities to do a job, including staffing, equipment etc., and 2) a composite of external effects of this activity. A case study where five track-switches are replaced provides substance to the discussion of a welfare optimum. The standard method for substituting existing for new switches is to do the job during a weekend when the line is closed for traffic. A manufacturer of switches has suggested that it is not necessary to completely close a line but rather to undertake activities in-between trains. The case study uses information about costs for the standard way to shift switches as well as observed train delays. The infrastructure manager’s parameter values developed for investment BCA assessments are used to value time etc. The case study provides the basis for addressing institutional aspects of how renewal activities can be tendered costs. The outcome of the analysis is to suggest a less rigid tendering format than the standard Unit Price Contract is suggested.
  • Institutions and the implementation of EU legislation in Sweden and Finland. .....Lena Nerhagen, Dalarna University; Johanna Jussila Hammes, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute
  • When becoming members of the EU, member states are expected to adopt common legislation and are encouraged to develop similar rule making procedures. The actual implementation of EU directives varies considerably, however. Sweden has a high profile in environmental issues; nevertheless, it is one of the countries that have been subjected to infringements of environmental EU directives. This paper explores possible explanations for this but also what implications this may have for policy outcomes and economic efficiency. Our analysis is based on a comparison of Finland and Sweden since these two Nordic countries for historical reasons have had similar government systems. However, when becoming members of the EU, they started to diverge, and Finland has by now largely overthrown its old Swedish-style government administration for a more centralized system with larger ministries and fewer government agencies, and an institutionalized system for doing impact assessments at the highest governmental level (the Prime Minister’s Office). We focus on environmental policy since this is an area that has been high on the EU agenda and where Sweden has the ambition of being a frontrunner, while Finland by no means is a laggard. In the paper we develop a theoretical model to analyse the outcome on environmental policy of the institutional set-up in the two countries. We conclude that Swedish environmental policy, due to the way in which the governance system is constructed, tends to impose stricter-than-optimal environmental policies.
34. Benefit-Cost Analysis in the Baltic Countries: Health, Taxes, and Equity [Individual Paper Presentations]
Monday | 9:00 am-10:30 am | Online: Virtual Room 1

Organizer: Glenn Blomquist, University of Kentucky
Chair: Anders Paalzow, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
  • Estimating the Economic Cost of Migraine in Latvia and Lithuania. .....Ágnes Lublóy, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Zane Vārpina, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
  • Migraine is a primary headache disorder which affects all aspects of life. The financial burden of migraine imposed on the society is substantial. This study aims at estimating the economic cost of migraine in Latvia and Lithuania, including both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs encompass the costs of migraine-related health care resource utilization. Indirect costs are related to productivity loss, the potential or expected earnings lost due to migraine. We quantify three components of productivity loss: reduced labour force participation, absence from work and reduced productivity while at work. First, we perform a literature review to proxy the prevalence rate of migraine in Latvia and Lithuania, the migraine-related health care resource utilization, the number of days missed from work and the number of days lost due to impairment while at work. Then, we retrieve data such as unit cost of medical services and procedures, unemployment rate and average income in Latvia and Lithuania to estimate the economic cost of migraine in these countries. We deliver a conservative cost estimate; the prevalence rate of migraine and the number of lost workdays adopted from the literature can be considered as lower bounds for those items. We find that the total cost of migraine is €114.29 million in Latvia, corresponding to 0.42% of Latvia’s GDP. The total cost of migraine is €151.83 million in Lithuania, corresponding to 0.36% of Lithuania’s GDP. Around 70% of total cost is indirect cost, a huge majority of which is related to absenteeism and presenteeism. Further cost-benefit analysis could illuminate interventions that lower the indirect cost of migraine without significant cost increase in patients care.
  • Estimating the Economic Burden of Cardiovascular Disease in Lithuania. .....Ágnes Lublóy, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Teodors Muzis, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga; Rimants Rimants Žogota, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
  • Cardiovascular diseases are the primary cause of death worldwide; for 2019 the World Health Organization estimated around 17.9 million deaths globally, representing 32% of all deaths. In Lithuania, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death; and the country has the highest mortality rate from ischaemic heart diseases in the European Union. In addition to the large mortality burden, non-fatal cardiovascular incidents decrease the quality of patients’ life, decrease productivity and increase the need for informal care. Therefore, it is important to assess the impact of cardiovascular disease beyond the health care systems and consider the costs arising from productivity losses and informal care as well. In this research, we first aim at assessing the burden of cardiovascular disease in Lithuania by employing a Markov cohort model with a time horizon of 30 years. We assess both direct healthcare costs and indirect costs. Indirect costs include productivity loss due to absenteeism and presenteeism, and unpaid work loss being replaceable by caregivers. Second, we aim at assessing the potential impact of lowering low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by using the novel PCSK9 inhibitors (PCSK9i). We compare the cost of using PCSK9i inhibitors with the benefits of using it, including lower number of hospitalizations, less follow-up healthcare costs, lower productivity loss and lower unpaid work loss. Our holistic perspective enables us to understand the widescale economic and social consequences of cardiovascular diseases in Lithuania.
  • Excise Tax Policy in the Baltic Countries: Alcoholic Drinks, Soft Drinks and Tobacco Products. .....Anna Pluta, Baltic International Centre for Economics Policy Studies; Mihails Hazans, University of Latvia; Anna Zasova, Baltic International Center for Economic Policy Studies
  • The aim of this research is to analyse excise tax policies in the Baltic countries from the point of view of revenues to the state, consumer welfare (including public health) and other policy goals, e.g., creating incentives for product reformulation, and to develop recommendations on excise tax policy. The study covers the following excise goods: alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and soft drinks with added sugar, other sweeteners or flavouring. There are strong public health reasons for taking measures to discourage excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and caloric food products and beverages in the Baltic countries. First of all, Lithuania and Latvia are among the EU countries with one of the highest per capita amounts of pure alcohol consumed. Smoking incidence in the Baltic countries has remained very high over the last two decades. Finally, there is a need to address the problem of growing overweight and obesity in the Baltic countries. For the Baltic countries, excise duties represent a more important source of tax revenues compared to richer EU member states and EU countries on average, and excise duties have remained the focus of fiscal policy debates for many years. In 2007-2020, all three Baltic countries have increased their excise duties several times. However, the relative (PPP-adjusted) prices for some excise goods remain relatively low if compared to other EU countries. Thus, in 2018, prices for all tobacco products in the Baltic countries were 32- 37% below the EU-28. There is no such gap in the prices of alcohol, however: in Lithuania, prices for alcohol were on average 6% lower than in the EU-28, while the average relative prices of alcohol in Latvia and Estonia were above the EU average (8.5% higher in Latvia and 26.3% higher in Estonia).
  • Who Gains, Who Loses? A Baltic Perspective on Distributional Issues in Cost-Benefit Analysis. .....Dominik Gerber, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga
  • The traditional economic defense of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) has been driven by a concern for welfare improvement (“growing the pie”), which it hoped to separate neatly from distributional issues. Judgements about the distributional incidence of costs and benefits of a policy project, according to the traditional view, are not the business of economists, but must be left to the political process. A growing body of literature challenges this division of labor and offers both theoretical and practical guidance on accommodating distributional concerns within CBA. Using the example of the “Rail Baltica” project, a EUR 5.8b rail infrastructure project integrating the Baltic States in the European rail network, this paper illuminates the case for applying distributional ‘equity’ weights to the costs incurred and benefits received b Society of Benefit-Cost Analysis 2023 Annual Conferencey different stakeholder groups within the Baltic countries. Special attention will be paid to the considerable cross-Baltic variation in income inequality, public governance quality, and institutional trust, all of which can potentially affect the distributional implications of CBA. Finally, against the background of this contextual variation, this paper compares the distributional implications of CBA with alternative decision procedures frequently employed by government agencies, namely risk-risk analysis, direct multidimensional assessment, and QUALY-based assessment.
35. Economics of Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Cross-Country Perspective [Individual Paper Presentations]
Monday | 9:00 am-10:30 am | Online: Virtual Room 2

Organizer: Don Kenkel, Cornell University
Chair: Don Kenkel, Cornell University
  • Examining Impediments to Reduced Risk Product Adoption in Pakistan; Results from 10 focus groups with adults who use cigarettes and e-cigarettes. .....Maria Qureshi, University of Catania
  • Objective: This original research will comprise focused group discussions to identify the impediments to adopting reduced-risk products and opportunities to reduce the number of smokers with the utmost urgency in Pakistan. Methods: For this qualitative research, we will conduct focus group discussions in all four provincial capitals, i.e., Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, and the Federal capital city Islamabad. A total of 10 focus group interviews are planned, each with 6-8 people who smoke or use e-cigarettes resulting in 60-80 subjects. The subjects will be recruited via focal persons identified in each province and from exclusive vape shops with the help of retailers. The composition of the focus groups will be heterogeneous to generate a wide variety of opinions and to discuss many different experiences. Data analysis will be conducted by identifying key themes and dominant response patterns in the data. This technique is inductive and will help provide the means for generating inferences from the transcripts. The beliefs elicited by FGDs will then be analyzed using the constant comparative approach and categorized using the theory of planned behavior. These will then translate into understanding the underlying belief structures of people who smoke or use e-cigarettes. This study aims to identify potential opportunities that can provide rapid and practical solutions to make RRPs accessible and sustainable for those looking to switch or quit combustibles cigarettes.
  • Tobacco regulation in Nepal: The dynamics of government policies, tobacco market and consumption behaviour. .....Trilochan Pokharel, Nepal Administrative Staff College
  • The objective of this paper is to elucidate dynamics of tobacco regulation, market tendency and consumer behaviour and its impact on the economy of Nepal based on the published data. The findings suggest that although tobacco contributes 20-30% of total excise tax, its share has a steady decline in the post 2011 regulation, owing to illicit trade including under-invoicing, smuggling and growing informal market. Once self-sustained, Nepal has been a net importer of tobacco raw materials and products. No clear policy exists on the HRPs, but as the price of cigarettes increases, consumers tend to switch to cheap and easily accessible SLTs, undermining tobacco control efforts and challenging the tax administration.
  • Perceptions of plain packaging among university students in Turkey: A survey-based experiment. .....Asena Caner, TOBB University of Economics and Technology
  • This study investigates the effects of plain packaging and graphic health warnings on cigarette packs among university students in Turkey. Data collected via an online survey-based experiment, where respondents are randomly assigned to conditions, are used to examine negative affect, avoidant responses, and quit intentions. We compare text-only to combined warnings, plain to branded packages, and old to new warnings. Regression analyses reveal that plain packaging and new, harsher graphic health warnings are effective in generating negative affect and avoidant responses. However, they are not effective in increasing intentions to quit; therefore, additional measures are necessary to achieve cessation.
  • The Potential Impact of E-cigarettes on the Life-Years Lost from Conventional Smoking in the Russian Federation. .....Giorgi Mzhavanadze, Healthy Initiatives, Tblisi Georgia
  • This study analyses the potential impact of e-cigarettes on the death toll of cigarette smoking in the Russian Federation by working under a variety of assumptions pertaining to how much vaping might affect smoking cessation and initiation, and its adverse impacts on health in comparison to conventional smoking. Within this study, each combination of these assumptions generates a single vaping scenario (120 in total). A dynamic population simulation model, specifically for the Russian Federation, that is tailored to tobacco control policy analysis, is built for estimation purposes. Considering the toll of smoking on cumulative life-years saved via the inclusion of vaping across a period of 80 years, the simulation analysis produces positive results in most vaping scenarios, ranging from -0.5 to 40.8 million life-years saved. In relative terms, the estimated life-years saved from vaping varies from -0.3% to 22.3% of the predicted life-years lost from smoking. Most of the model scenarios involve a significant number of individuals who stopped smoking in favor of vaping. These results suggest that vaping has great potential to reduce the prevalence of smoking and the related death toll in the Russian Federation.
36. Theory and Valuation [Individual Paper Presentations]
Monday | 9:00 am-10:30 am | Online: Virtual Room 3

Chair: David Canning, Harvard University
  • The Value Per Statistical Life in China: Evidence from Medical Expenditure of Senior Citizens. .....Ao Yu, University of Maryland at College Park
  • In this study, I derive the value per statistical life (VSL) for Chinese senior citizens who are above 65 by investigating the effect of private medical expenditure on survival probabilities. I use a longevity survey data from China to estimate the effect. Estimates based on instrumental variable estimators suggest that the mean VSL at age 65 is around $100,000 (2010 U.S. dollars) and the mean VSL decreases to $6,000 at the age of 90. This study provides the first empirical evidence under the revealed preference framework on the VSL of Chinese senior citizens, an important parameter to conduct cost-benefit analysis for various policies.
  • Conducting Cost Benefit Analysis in Expected Utility Units in the United States. .....David Canning, Harvard University
  • Assuming individual preferences satisfy the Von Neumann–Morgenstern axioms for expected utility we show how we can measure an individual’s expected utility of any state using their willingness to accept a gamble over two reference points. The utility function captures the diminishing marginal utility of money with income and risk aversion over gambles. This contrasts with the standard money metric valuations that assume linearity of individual’s welfare in money. Measuring costs and benefits in expected utility units seems more appropriate than money units for applied welfare economics since it more accurately reflects individuals’ preferences, and can be applied to policies that involve risk. In addition, if social preferences satisfy the Von Neumann–Morgenstern axioms and the Pareto principle, social welfare is the weighted sum of these expected utilities. The weights can be calculated directly for the United States from revealed Government preferences on the allocation of mortality risk. The United States Government values lives equally in calculating the welfare loses from mortality risk and this implies an equal weighting of individual utilities if they are measured using willingness to accept a gamble of a probability of death versus the status quo; we call this life metric expected utility. For projects with small effects on expected utility we show how to convert existing money metric cost benefit studies into life metric expected utility cost benefit analysis using weights based on how the value of a statistical life varies with income in the United States. This approach may be particularly appealing for the conduct of cost-benefit studies mandated by regulation in the United States to inform Government policy. It measures costs and benefits in utility units that respect individuals’ preferences over risk and weights these utility gains using the Government’s revealed preferences and implied social welfare function.
  • A Net Monetary Benefits Equation for Heterogenous Target Populations: A Generalized Net Monetary Benefits Equation. .....Jacob Smith, University of Toronto
  • Abstract: In this paper a new theoretically grounded approach to equity and cost effectiveness analysis is presented. This is done by demonstrating the existence of a net monetary benefits equation which accounts for individual costs and effects which will be labeled as a “generalized net monetary benefits equation”. This approach is useful because it allows for consideration of subpopulation benefits and costs while noting how each of these benefits ought to be weighted by a unique corresponding willingness to pay threshold. The way this is done is by noting the objective problems in which the concepts of incremental net monetary benefits and net health benefits come from and then modify them to consider multiple criteria.
37. Roundtable on Making Decisions Without Using Statistical Significance [Roundtable/Panel]
Monday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | Online: Virtual Room 1

Organizer: Craig Thornton, Mathematica
Chair: Craig Thornton, Mathematica

  • Randall Brown, Mathematica;
  • Mariel Finucane, mathematica;
  • Anthony Fowler, University of Chicago;
  • Nicole Lazar, Pennsylvania State University;
38. Discounting and Risk [Individual Paper Presentations]
Monday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | Online: Virtual Room 2

Chair: Eric Horsch, Industrial Economics, Inc.
  • Social discount rate for intergenerational investments – case of CEE EU countries. .....Rafał Buła, University of Economics in Katowice; Monika Foltyn-Zarychta, University of Economics in Katowice
  • The choice of the social discount rate (SDR) for long-term investment appraisal plays a pivotal role. Since intergenerational impacts (climate change, nuclear waste) present value is highly sensitive to slight changes in the SDR value, some countries (UK, France) switch from constant SDR to the declining discount rate (DDR) to decrease the sensitivity. To our knowledge, none of the CEE countries has developed official DDR recommendations yet. While the constant SDR is a relatively well-established approach, having an official new EU recommendation of 3%, DDRs are estimated much less frequently, particularly for the CEE countries. We aim to address this gap. We follow the DDR rationale resting on uncertainty over future discount rates, the certainty equivalent (CE) rate approach developed by Weitzman and Gollier. We base it on the Ramsey formula which is the prevailing one for the EU SDR estimates. We also propose to calculate the CE rates with a non-parametric approach (the kernel estimates of probability density function) to deliver the per capita consumption growth density function free of additional assumptions regarding its shape. We estimate flat SDRs via the Ramsey formula with Gollier’s “precautionary term” and, next, calculate CE rates for the 500-year horizon. Ramsey’s SDRs vary between 6.77% for Lithuania to 2.95% for Czechia. Gollier’s term lowers them by 0.15% on average. DDRs for longest horizon drop to approx. 0.5% (from 0.35% for Bulgaria to 0.67% for Poland) and the descent is deeper and faster when forward-fitted DDRs (following the UK Green Book approach) are considered (0.01% to 0.04%). The results are relevant for energy and climate long-term policies in CEE EU member countries, still experiencing considerable investment gaps to fulfil EU climate goals. The issue of proper appraisal matters particularly nowadays when the energy crisis hits particularly hard European countries heavily dependent on fossil fuels.
  • Discounting in Natural Resource Damage Assessment. .....Eric Horsch, Industrial Economics, Inc.; Christopher Giguere, NOAA; Cameron Duff, NOAA
  • The goal of Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) is to compensate the public for losses to natural resources from past or ongoing hazardous releases, including losses that may persist into the future. Compensation is delivered in the form of restoration projects. Resolving NRDA liability requires balancing losses and restoration benefits over multiple decades and converting them into a present value for calculating appropriate damages. For the past two decades, NRDA practitioners have used a real discount rate of 3 percent to convert losses and benefits to a present value equivalent. That rate was based, in part, on real historical yields on risk-free debt (e.g., the real rate of return on 3-month Treasury bills). Declining interest rates on risk-free debt in recent years has led to suggestions to reexamine the historical consensus discount rate. This paper reviews two alternative conceptual paradigms for selecting a discount rate in NRDA cases: the social rate of time preference and discount rates for tort cases. We summarize historical data for empirically implementing the two paradigms and discuss the ramifications of the different options. Based on our review, we suggest maintaining the 3 percent consensus as a practical solution to a range of empirical candidates within the two conceptual paradigms.
39. Risks and Benefit-Cost Analysis [Individual Paper Presentations]
Monday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | Online: Virtual Room 3

Chair: Adam Zachary Rose, University of Southern California
  • On Mask Wearing in Environments With and Without a Mask Mandate. .....Amit Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • We analyze an office environment with two types of workers. The first type believes that masks offer little or no protection against Covid-19 and hence this type does not wear a mask. The second type wants to protect itself from Covid-19 and therefore this type does wear a mask. By not wearing a mask, the first type of worker imposes an externality on the second type of worker. In this setting, we accomplish five tasks. First, ignoring the externality, we compute the number of hours during which the first type of worker does not wear a mask. Second, we ascertain the socially optimal number of hours during which a worker of the first type ought not to wear a mask. Third, we determine the optimal tax needed to decentralize the social optimum. Fourth, assuming that there is no mask mandate, we analyze the outcome when we allow for Coasian bargaining between the two types of workers. Finally, assuming that there is a mask mandate, we study the outcome when, once again, there is Coasian bargaining between the two types of workers.
  • "Co-Benefits, Countervailing Risks, and Cost-Benefit Analysis". .....Jonathan Wiener, Duke University; John Graham, Indiana University
  • We examine the controversy over assessing ancillary impacts such as “co-benefits" and "countervailing risks” in agency regulatory analyses. In principle, we argue in favor of counting the full portfolio of important policy impacts, both benefits and harms, both target and ancillary. Recognizing that additional analysis can incur costs (such as delays), we suggest that the optimal scope of analysis of ancillary impacts would be proportionate, balancing the value of information with the cost of information. We then examine the treatment of ancillary impacts in three case studies: (1) US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations of mobile sources such as cars and trucks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance fuel economy (CAFE); (2) EPA regulation of mercury air toxics emissions from electric power generation (MATS); and (3) EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from electric power generation (CPP and ACE rules). Our review indicates that agencies do not always consider all the important impacts or analyze those impacts properly. We also discuss limitations and uncertainties in the assessment of specific ancillary impacts that would benefit from further exploration. We conclude and offer recommendations for estimating the full scope of important impacts, evenhandedly, to the extent caused by the policy, and to the extent relevant to improving the policy process and decision. To make this manageable and meaningful, we suggest that agencies should optimize the scope of their analyses, proportionately balancing the value and the cost of additional information. And we suggest that agencies should seek parity across impacts in the criteria for analytic rigor, quantification, and uncertainty.
  • The Impact of COVID-19 Fiscal Stimulus Legislation on the U.S. Economic Recovery. .....Terrie Walmsley, University of Southern California; Juan Machado, University of Southern California; Adam Zachary Rose, University of Southern California; Dan Wei, University of Southern California; Richard John, University of Southern California; Jakub Hlavka, University of Southern California; Katie Byrd, University of Southern California
  • We estimate the impact of fiscal stimulus measures enacted in response to COVID-19 on U.S. GDP, investment and exports. We apply a dynamic computable general equilibrium model adept at estimating total direct and indirect effects and their time-path. Initial stimulus bills, including the CARES Act, reduced the potential decline in GDP resulting from the pandemic by 7.1% in early 2020. Later rounds were not as beneficial, largely due to crowding out of investment. Unemployment benefits provided a larger increase in GDP than direct and indirect payments to individuals, and corporate tax relief provisions had a very positive impact on growth.
40. The Results First Initiative: Lessons Learned and Remaining Challenges [Roundtable Discussion (three to six speakers) [Online March 13 or 14]]
Monday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | Online: Virtual Room 4

Organizer: Karen Lyons, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Chair: Karen Lyons, The Pew Charitable Trusts

  • Patrick Carter, Minnesota Management and Budget;
  • Sarah Dinces, New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee;
  • Carrie Hollis, North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management;
41. Keynote: Calculating the Social Cost of Carbon and the Social Cost of Methane (Thomas Sterner)* [Plenary]
Monday | 12:30 pm-2:00 pm | Online: Virtual Room 1

Chair: Mauren Cropper, University of Maryland
42. Meet the JBCA Session [Roundtable/Panel]
Monday | 2:00 pm-2:30 pm | Online: Virtual Room 1
43. Keynote: Air Pollution Matters (Jorge Alexander Bonilla)* [Plenary]
Monday | 3:00 pm-4:30 pm | Online: Virtual Room 1

Chair: Daniel Herrera, Université Paris-Dauphine
44. Transport [Individual Paper Presentations]
Tuesday | 3:45 am-5:15 am | Online: Virtual Room 1

Chair: Jessica Göransson, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)
  • Comparison of policies for increasing sustainable transport mode shares in Swedish cities. .....Roger Pyddoke, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute
  • The EU is currently promoting sustainable mobility in its cities. This promotion can take the form of subsidies to infrastructure for cycling and public transport. This paper compares policy instruments in Swedish cities to adapt to more sustainable transport, comparing existing policy instruments: subsidies to infrastructure for sustainable modes in the form of city environmental agreements (CEAs), congestion and parking charges and a hypothetical incentive to reduce the mode share of cars. Analyses of the CEAs indicate that they do not reliably affect mode choice. The results for congestion and parking charges, on the contrary, indicate that these have a substantial potential to shift mode choices and improve welfare by pricing external costs. The outcomes of the hypothetical incentive based on achieved effects will depend on the extent to which cities are willing to use externality pricing and to which citizens are willing to change modes. The management and evaluation of this hypothetical incentive poses considerable requirements data and estimations of a counter factual outcomes without incentives, and its necessary costs. Provided these requirements can be met, the incentive model appears to be a possible instrument for stimulating cities to move both faster and efficiently towards sustainable transport.
  • Promoting urban carpooling: a total social cost approach based on the Lyon case study. .....Martin Koning, Gustave Eiffel University; Alix Le Goff, University of Lyon 2; Guillaume Monchambert, University of Lyon 2; Clément Marchal, ECOV
  • Car commuting in large cities causes numerous nuisances (congestion, noise, pollution) that destroy social welfare. One potential solution often to reduce these externalities is carpooling. Even if carpooling is currently under-used for daily trips all around the world, however, solutions exist to improve its offer. The focus here will be on the case of Lyon (France), where Ecov – a company that creates and manages carpooling lines in the manner of bus lines – is developing an offer in the eastern part of the agglomeration. The idea of this paper is to estimate the total social cost of different policy scenarios aimed at promoting carpooling in the greater Lyon area. To carry out this analysis, we first define the transport supplies available to individuals (in terms of money costs and generalized travel times, including access and waiting times). Four modes are selected: solo driver, carpooling as a driver, carpooling as a passenger and public transport. We then use the results of a stated preference survey conducted in 2019 to estimate individual modal choices based on the available offers. Once the benchmark modal shares known for each origin-destination (OD), we estimate the total individuals’ generalized costs of travels for each mode and each OD. These flows then allow the calculation of the different externalities produced (notably by combining a COPERT methodology with official values of emissions) as well as the financial balance of both the private operators concerned by the carpooling market and of the public finance. Using this methodological framework, we can simulate the impact of different measures on the different components of the social cost. We are currently testing: a) one dedicated carpool lane, which will reduce carpoolers' travel time, b) the creation of new stations that could affect waiting times and access times to carpooling modes, c) various monetary measures such as modifying the prices paid and received by carpoolers, as well as tax or toll levels, or increasing gasoline prices. Whereas our results are for the Lyon case study, we argue that the relative variations of the different components constituting the total social cost may serve as indicators for future projects elsewhere.
  • Regional differences in public transport preferences: A Swedish case study. .....Jessica Göransson, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI); Henrik Andersson, Toulouse School of Economics
  • To provide an attractive public transport system detailed knowledge of travelers' preferences is needed. Elicited preferences used for policy purposes are often based on a small set of sources or from studies conducted in similar contexts. There is limited research on how stable public transport preferences are between regions. It is important for regional public transport authorities to know if national public transport preferences fit their region well or if region-specific preferences are needed to better align supply with demand. This case study looks at three Swedish regions; Stockholm (predominantly urban), Skåne (intermediate), and Värmland (predominantly rural). These regions differ in population density and public transport usage. Two discrete choice experiments were performed, in total 1062 respondents were collected. The preferences examined were travel time, price, flexibility, comfort, crowding, reliability, and walking distance. The results show that there exist regional differences. Especially regarding reliability, where participants from Värmland showed a stronger preference than those in Stockholm. Regional differences were also found regarding preferences for walking time and price. Local differences were found which differ between the regions. It is recommended to further investigate regional differences, especially with a focus on predominantly rural regions. In Sweden, the predominantly rural regions are smaller and have lower public transport usage. If the predominantly rural regions have similar preferences that differ from the national preferences used today, it would be cost-effective for these regions to estimate their own preferences to better align supply with demand. More research is also recommended on why the attributes differ between the regions, especially regarding reliability.
45. Water 2 [Individual Paper Presentations]
Tuesday | 3:45 am-5:15 am | Online: Virtual Room 2

Chair: Foroogh Nazari Chamaki, Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus/Cambridge Resource International
  • Towards monetary valuation of quality of life benefits of domestic water supply. .....Ian Ross, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Domestic water insecurity harms "quality of life" outcomes, for example worry about water availability or anger at disrupted plans. However, these outcomes are excluded from BCA of water supply interventions, which typically measure and value only prevented disease and time savings. The water-adjusted person year (WAPY) was recently proposed as a way to quantify “being water secure” in a domestic setting. One WAPY represents a year lived in complete water security, inspired by the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) in health economics. WAPYs combine time using water services with a preference-weighted index of water-related quality of life (WaterQoL). This index is derived from preference weighting of the Water Insecurity Experiences (WISE) scale, which measures four attributes of domestic water security (worry, disrupted plans, drinking, handwashing). This paper presents and critiques possible methods for monetary valuation of quality of life gains from water supply interventions, illustrated using WaterQoL data recently collected in Nairobi, Kenya. To our knowledge, this is the first application of preference weighting in an index of user-experienced water security. One monetary valuation option discussed is contingent valuation. After establishing how much a participant's household pays for water per month, they could be asked the WaterQoL questions to establish their water security “state”. They could then be presented with a hypothetical scenario in which an area-wide water service investment would increase their (and their family’s) WaterQoL to a specified higher level. They could be asked how much more they would be WTP per month for that water service, using a double-bounded dichotomous-choice approach. Since the WaterQoL index value associated with the gain is known, as is the number of household members, the WTP data could be converted to WTP for a WAPY. Alternative monetary valuation options discussed in the paper include discrete choice experiment, structured referendum, and citizen jury.
  • Wastewater Reuse to Mitigate the Risk of Water Shortages: An Integrated Investment Appraisal. .....Glenn Jenkins, Queen's University; Foroogh Nazari Chamaki, Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus/Cambridge Resource International; Hatice Jenkins, Eastern Mediterranean University; Majid Hashemipour, Cyprus International University
  • Abstract This paper evaluates the financial and economic costs of reusing wastewater with reverse osmosis (R.O.) purification systems to mitigate the risks of near potable quality water shortages in an urban water system. A distributional analysis is also undertaken to identify those who bear the externalities of the system. A rich data set is available to conduct an ex-post analysis of such a system operating in Cyprus for several years. The levelized financial cost of the R.O. system if it operates at a 75% utilization rate is USD 1.18/m3, while the levelized economic cost that includes all the externality impacts is USD 1.20/m3. However, the closeness of these two values hides a large set of externalities that affect different groups in society in disparate ways. The analysis shows that reusing wastewater in conjunction with a system of R.O. is a very effective way to mitigate the risks of water shortages in a more extensive water system. It also highlights the importance of the nature of the electricity system that generates the electricity to power the R.O. plant in determining the ultimate economic cost of reusing wastewater.
46. Valuing Health [Individual Paper Presentations]
Tuesday | 3:45 am-5:15 am | Online: Virtual Room 3

Chair: Daniel Herrera, Université Paris-Dauphine
  • Are distributional preferences for safety stable? A longitudinal analysis before and after the COVID-19 outbreak?. .....Danae Arroyos Calvera, University of Birmingham; Judith Covey, Durham University; Rebecca McDonald, University of Birmingham
  • Policy makers aim to respect public preferences when making trade-offs between policies, yet most estimates of the value of safety neglect individuals’ preferences over how safety is distributed. Incorporating these preferences into policy first requires measuring them. Arroyos-Calvera et al. (2019) documented that people cared most about efficiency, but that equity followed closely, and self-interest mattered too, but not enough to override preferences for efficiency and equity. Early 2020 saw the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This event would impose major changes in how people perceived and experienced risk to life, creating an opportunity to test whether safety-related preferences are stable and robust to important contextual changes. Further developing Arroyos-Calvera et al.’s methodology and re-inviting an international general population sample of participants that had taken part in pre-pandemic online surveys in 2017 and 2018, we collected an April 2020 wave of the survey and showed that overall preferences for efficiency, equity and self-interest were remarkably stable before and after the pandemic outbreak. We hope this offers policy makers reassurance that once these preferences have been elicited from a representative sample of the population, they need not be re-estimated after important contextual changes.
  • Meta-analysis of the Value of a Statistical Life in China. .....Yanying Wang, Peking University; Yana Jin, Peking University; Shiqiu Zhang,
  • The value of a statistical life (VSL) is crucial for evaluating the health effects related to environmental pollution and other risks, and has long been a critical parameter for regulatory analysis in some developed countries. While for developing countries, primary VSL studies are limited, making it challenging to timely assess the efficiency of health-related public policies. Besides, since the patterns of determinants of VSL are not consistent across studies, and systematic reviews of primary VSL studies in developing countries are limited, when transferring VSL to a developing country, income difference is usually the only considered factor. Different risk characteristics, population heterogeneity, and other factors are often ignored, resulting in inappropriate VSL estimation for developing countries. Recently, China becomes a promising context to synthesize and generate localized VSL. We use meta-analysis to analyze 19 primary VSL studies with the Chinese population from 1998 to 2019. Results show that income of the studied population, the type of risk, and the magnitude of risk reduction are the most important variables to explain the variation in VSL estimates. Our analysis generates VSLs of environmental, health, and transportation-related risk in 2020, mean values ranging from 1.68 to 11.64 million CNY (0.4 to 2.8 million USD, purchasing power parity exchanged). We further test whether alternative meta-regression specifications can better predict the variation in VSL estimates and find that multiple socioeconomic factors, other than income, need to be considered even within the same country. We inform context-specific VSL reference estimates and critical considerations in regulatory impact analysis.
  • Empirical bounds on the value of improved health.. .....Daniel Herrera, Université Paris-Dauphine; Christoph Rheinberger, ECHA; James Hammitt, Harvard University
  • This project is motivated by the increasing need for economic tools that enable French decision makers to rank policies seeking to improve risks to life and limb. The project aims at empirically estimating the Value per Statistical Life (VSL) and the marginal Willingness to pay (MWTP) for improved quality-of-life. To accomplish it, we propose an empirical strategy with three main components. We require estimating the willingness to pay for reductions in the risk of suffering (1) fatal and (2) non-fatal health conditions using a stated-preference survey fielded to an internet panel representative of the adult French population. These values are derived from an original decomposition of the value from reducing the incidence of a disease. In a nutshell: as a reduction in incidence improves your chances against illness and death, the value of improving incidence can be decomposed into the value of avoiding a fatal and a non-fatal condition. Last (3), we require to know the individual’s current quality-of-life. The combination of these three components allows us to derive VSL along with the upper and lower bounds for the MWTP for an improvement in quality-of-life. As we are currently developing the survey instrument, we conducted a Monte Carlo (MC) analysis to simulate a realistic stated-preference survey. Results of this analysis suggest that our procedure is feasible and produces accurate estimates of MWTP with non-marginal risk reductions using realistic stated-preference data. We hope to provide survey results for the SBCA meeting.
47. Keynote: Equity and Burden-Sharing in Unequal Cities (Martine Visser)* [Plenary]
Tuesday | 5:45 am-7:15 am | Online: Virtual Room 1

Chair: Martin Koning, Gustave Eiffel University
48. Roundtable: Innovations in Cost Effectiveness Analyses in Health [Roundtable/Panel]
Tuesday | 9:00 am-10:30 am | Online: Virtual Room 1

Organizer: Deborah Freund, Claremont Graduate University
Chair: Deborah Freund, Claremont Graduate University

  • Charles Phelps, The University of Rochester;
  • Peter Neumann, Tufts University;
  • Louis Garrison, University of Washington;
49. Independent Regulatory Authorities [Roundtable/Panel]
Tuesday | 9:00 am-10:30 am | Online: Virtual Room 2

Organizer: Susan Dudley, George Washington University
Chair: Susan Dudley, George Washington University

  • Christopher Carrigan, George Washington University;
  • Joseph Dunne, EU Parliament in the U.S.;
  • Gabriela Silva, George Mason University;
  • Mary Sullivan, George Washington University;
50. Energy and Climate [Individual Paper Presentations]
Tuesday | 9:00 am-10:30 am | Online: Virtual Room 3

Chair: Carolina Arlota, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School
  • Rooftop Solar PV with Net Metering in Ontario: An Integrated Investment Appraisal. .....Majid Hashemi, Queen's University; Glenn Jenkins, Queen's University; Frank Milne, Queen's University
  • This paper reports on a financial, economic, and stakeholder analysis of the combined impacts of Ontario’s net-metering program and the Federal Government of Canada’s Greener Homes Initiative. Ontario’s net-metering program was introduced to promote the deployment of renewable energy resources connected to the electricity distribution network. Given that the main type of net-metered installed capacity has been rooftop solar, we focus on the net-metered solar systems in this study. The results of this analysis allow one to conclude that without the very large subsidies of the Federal Government, Ontario households would lose financially if they were to make this investment. On the other hand, by combining Ontario’s net-metering program for rooftop solar with the Federal subsidy program, marginal financial benefits accrue to the net-metered electricity consumers. The stakeholder analysis quantifies the consequences of these policies. In summary, the net financial loss to other electricity consumers (who tend to have lower incomes on average) is almost 8 times the benefits received by the net-metered prosumers. The fiscal loss to the Federal Government of Canada is equal to 6 times the net present value of the benefits received by the prosumers. The net economic resources losses to Canada are 12 times to the private benefit of those who invest in rooftop solar systems. Using the Government of Canada’s own shadow prices for the social cost of carbon, the economic resource cost of this program to Canadians is 4.3 times the value of the global benefits created by the reduction in greenhouse gasses. The only stakeholder who benefits marginally is the Government of Ontario.
  • Does Cost-Benefit Analysis support Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)?. .....Carolina Arlota, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCC, hereinafter) features preeminently in recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency, appearing as imperative to the energy transition from fossil fuels and to achieve net-zero targets by 2050. A record number of fourteen countries (among them, the United States) included CCS in their most recent National Determined Contributions (NDCs) submissions. Nonetheless, several international environmentalists and policy makers oppose CCS, arguing that it entails a mitigation deterrence effect. According to this view, CCS switches the policies’ focus from mitigation actions which are proven to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to removals that are costly and uncertain and, by doing so, enables high emission activities to continue. Controversies about CCS in the domestic sphere also abound. In the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act grants significant tax incentives to the implementation of CCS. Yet, climate justice movements reiteratively oppose CCS based on the assumption that its adverse impacts may be overwhelmingly higher on racial-ethnic minorities and those economically more vulnerable. Accordingly, research about the cost-benefit analysis of CCS are of academic and practical interest. This article focuses on the costs and benefits of CCS and its implementation in the U.S., assessing quantitative and qualitative data. It considers the interests of the involved parties, the structure and stringency of carbon dioxide mitigation, and their potential lack of effectiveness. This research is the first to contemplate the new social cost of greenhouse gas proposed by the U.S. environmental protection agency, which increased from the interim US$51.00 to US$190.00 per ton. It also advances the literature on cost-benefit analysis by addressing moral considerations involved in CCS policies. Finally, this article offers relevant insights for the literature on CCS, cost-benefit analysis and related climate polices that are likely to be applicable to other jurisdictions.
51. Ethics and Benefit-Cost Analysis [Roundtable/Panel]
Tuesday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | Online: Virtual Room 1

Organizer: Lisa Robinson, Harvard University
Chair: Lisa Robinson, Harvard University

  • David Canning, Harvard University;
  • Maddalena Ferranna, University of Southern California;
  • Marc Fleurbaey, Paris School of Economics;
  • James Hammitt, Harvard University;
  • Christian Krekel, London School of Economics;
  • Ole Norheim, University of Bergen;
52. Roundtable on Analyzing Cross-Site Variation to Identify Best Practices [Roundtable/Panel]
Tuesday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | Online: Virtual Room 2

Organizer: Craig Thornton, Mathematica
Chair: Craig Thornton, Mathematica

  • Lynn Karoly, RAND;
  • David Long, Princeton Policy Associates;
  • Randall Brown, Mathematica;
53. Health Valuation and Risk Beliefs [Individual Paper Presentations]
Tuesday | 10:45 am-12:15 pm | Online: Virtual Room 3

Chair: Eleanor Eaton, University of Bath
  • A risk-risk trade-off analysis of heatwave-related mortality risk. .....Irene Mussio, newcastle university; Susan Chilton, Newcastle University; Darren Duxbury, newcastle university; Jytte Seested Nielsen, Newcastle University; Smriti Sharma, newcastle University
  • As climate variability is increasing, extreme events such as temperature fluctuations will be more frequent. For the case of India, the country’s exposure to heatwaves has risen in frequency, reaching temperature records in 2022. For policy-making purposes, there is an urgent need to understand measure citizens’ preferences with respect to increasing climate change risks and value those risks. However, in income-constrained populations, the use of WTP for avoiding increased mortality risks might be a controversial approach. We adapt a double bounded, dichotomous choice approach to measure individual non-monetary risk-risk trade-offs. This low-cost method allows us to summarize how much people value heatwave mortality risks into a context premium, which could be later used to calculate a heatwave-specific VSL. Our results shows that on average, people care about avoiding heatwave-related mortality risks. Individuals in our sample of seven geographical states in India value avoiding increased heatwave-related mortality risks at an average of 1.85 times the rate of traffic accident mortality risks. Our second objective was to value avoiding increased heatwave mortality risks in India – that is, being able to calculate the VSL for heatwaves. Since VSLs for LMICs are sparse, we used benefit transfer to calculate the VSL under different assumptions. This gives us a range of VSLs for heatwave mortality risks for India of $0.30-2.14 million (2021 US Dollar values).
  • The Locus of Dread for Mass Shootings. .....Rachel Dalafave, Vanderbilt University; Kip Viscusi, Vanderbilt University
  • Using survey data before and after the 2022 mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, this article finds that the degree of overestimation of mass shooting risks surged following these tragedies. The article includes three different measures of risk beliefs, all of which indicate increased overestimation of mass shooting risks after these tragedies. A choice experiment provided the basis for examining the risk-risk tradeoff rate between deaths from mass shootings and other fatal firearms violence. People generally viewed prevention of deaths from mass shootings as being equivalent to preventing other firearms deaths, but there was a mass shooting premium when mass shootings are viewed as a more likely threat. The principal manifestation of dread for mass shootings is through risk beliefs, not preferences.
  • Comparing UK residents’ willingness to pay for mental versus physical health.. .....Eleanor Eaton, University of Bath; Alistair Hunt, University of Bath
  • Specific, quantifiable evidence about the impact of urban environments on mental health helps to inform better decision making and helps to create healthier places to live. There is a significant gap in the economic evaluation evidence for estimates for the welfare value of mental health and particularly depression, which can be applied in economic appraisal in the UK and international contexts. Mental health is often undervalued compared to physical health: to start to redress this balance we compare depression with similar severities of lower back pain. This contingent valuation study aims to estimate values for willingness to pay to avoid the disutility of having the symptoms of depression and lower back pain. A representative sample of 1,553 UK adults were surveyed online in Autumn 2022 using a two-way payment ladder elicitation method to derive WTP values. Respondents are presented with a hypothetical diagnosis conforming to mild, moderate and severe forms of depression and lower back pain. We explore how the individual’s baseline mental health, experience of illness, and background affects responses. Sensitivity to scope is explored via testing of varying severities and payment options. Results indicate that depression may have a higher impact on quality of life than lower back pain. Willingness to pay (WTP) values are significant for both conditions. Median WTP to avoid the symptoms of depression was £1,560 per year (range mild £1,425-severe £1,763), and median WTP to avoid back pain was £1,276 per year (range mild £1,209-severe £1,507). The values we derive help to complete a gap in economic valuation evidence for two of the most prevalent conditions in the UK, which result from poor built environments. Findings will help to inform more robust estimates of the economic welfare burden of these conditions for evaluation of public health interventions in both urban design and clinical contexts.
54. Water 3 [Individual Paper Presentations]
Tuesday | 1:15 pm-2:45 pm | Online: Virtual Room 1

Chair: Glenn Jenkins, Queens University, Canada
  • A study of the impact of tropical storms on drinking water quality in Florida. .....Isaiah Bryant, University of Kentucky
  • This study answers the question of if drinking water quality decreases after major storm events. I answer this question using a novel dataset connecting lab test results of water quality maintained by Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to a dataset identifying which community water systems were exposed to storms. To understand which community water systems were impacted by a storm, I map drinking water sources, tropical storms, and measures of flooding exposure. Employing a variation on a triple difference-in-differences framework, I model water quality in community water systems in Florida controlling for if the test occurred during hurricane season in that year, if the tested has a surface water source or well in a floodplain, and using flood insurance claims during hurricane season as a proxy for the severity of the storm season. I use the public water system ID and the year the test took place as fixed effects. Doing so identifies the association between tropical storms and water pollution. Understanding the impact of major tropical storms on water quality is critical to accurately calculate the costs due to climate change. Traditional estimates of the cost of climate change focus on the loss of productivity due to rising temperatures. My results would inform policymakers on if water pollution costs need to be factored into calculations of the climate change costs when considering whether policies to adapt to and reduce impacts of climate change are cost efficient. A growing body of literature links water pollution to poor infant health outcomes, which can have long-term effects on success and productivity. My results inform policymakers regarding the long-term social costs associated with climate change. Traditional calculations do not factor in these social costs which suggests that the true cost of climate change is much larger than currently thought.
  • Climate Change and River Water Pollution: An Application to the Ganges in Kanpur. .....Amit Batabyal, Rochester Institute of Technology; Karima Kourtit, Open University, Heerlen; Peter Nijkamp, Open University, Heerlen
  • We provide a theoretical framework to analyze how climate change influences the Ganges and how this influence affects pollution in the river caused by tanneries in Kanpur, India. We focus on two tanneries, A and B, that are situated on the same bank of the Ganges in Kanpur. Both produce leather and leather production requires the use of noxious chemicals. Tannery A is situated upstream from tannery B. Tannery A's leather production depends only on labor use but tannery B's leather production depends on labor use, the chemical waste generated by tannery A, and the natural pollution absorbing capacity of the Ganges. In this setting, we perform four tasks. First, we construct a metric that measures the climate change induced mean reduction in the natural capacity of the Ganges to absorb pollution in the time interval [0,t]. Second, we use this metric and determine the equilibrium production of leather by both tanneries in the benchmark case in which there is no pollution. Third, we ascertain how the benchmark equilibrium is altered when tannery B accounts for the negative externality foisted upon it by tannery A. Finally, we study the impact on leather production and on labor use when the two tanneries merge and then discuss the policy implications stemming from our research.
  • Energy Efficiencies and Health Impacts of Alternative Reverse Osmosis Technologies for Potable Water Production from Wastewater: An Integrated Investment Appraisal. .....Glenn Jenkins, Queen's University; Foroogh Nazari Chamaki, Eastern Mediterranean University in North Cyprus/Cambridge Resource International; Majid Hashemipour, Cyprus International University
  • Glenn P. Jenkins(, Foroogh Nazari Chamaki (,Majid Hashemipour (, Abstract: At the present time a community in North Cyprus has been utilizing treated wastewater as the water source for a reverse osmosis (RO)plant that produces potable water for a wide range of domestic, industrial, and animal husbandry uses. This is privately owned and unsubsidized facility. It purchases the treated wastewater from the Nicosia wastewater treatment plant at a price that is normally charged for irrigation water in South Cyprus. When built, the (RO) plant was designed was designed with a membrane technology to provide the desired quality of potable water. This technology requires a high level of electrical energy as input and it operates at a relatively low ratio of potable water produced to water input used. Because electricity is produced using heavy fuel oil the local pollution from electricity generation inflicts significant health costs on the residents of both the North and South parts of Cyprus. RO membrane technologies have been improving rapidly both in terms effectiveness, and operational efficiency. The problem addressed here is what is the private financial incentive to upgrade the technology and what is the economically most beneficial decision? A further question is what is the distribution of the benefits between the private operators and the other communities impacted by this decision? These communities include the other electricity consumers, the municipal wastewater treatment plant, the residents of North and South Cyprus and the rest of the world that are impacted by the green house emissions. Given the non-subsidized prices for inputs it is found that the investment to upgrade the plant is highly profitable with a payback period of less than 3 years and a real rate of return of 14%. Furthermore, the economic analysis also yields a positive NPV, with a real IRR of 20% even if the reduction in the cost of the GHG emissions is excluded from the economic benefits. The cost of the damage to people’s health on the Island of Cyprus from the generation of electricity from operation of the RO plant is reduced by more than 50% by the introduction of the new RO technology without any sacrifice in the quality of the water being produced.
55. Beliefs and Preferences [Individual Paper Presentations]
Tuesday | 1:15 pm-2:45 pm | Online: Virtual Room 2

Chair: Gabriela Silva, George Mason University
  • Where there's smoke; Addressing directionally motivate reasoning in CBA development and debate: ex post observations and suggestions from the 1994 Smoking; Costs and benefits for Australia.. .....Robert Smith, East Economics
  • Facts laid out in a CBA are unlikely to shift the pre-judgement, either tacit or explicit, of a person if they conflict with that person’s deeply held and entrenched self-interest, beliefs or worldview. Moreover, the ability to challenge the “truth” of a CBA is built into the nature of the theories and models, used to a CBA. As Robert Solow pointed out “All theory depends on assumptions which are not quite true. That is what makes it theory”. This paper explores the issue using the example of a 1994 “independent economic analysis” commissioned by the Tobacco Institute of Australia Ltd which “concludes that the net benefits from smoking are substantial, and that smokers more than pay their way in the community”. The CBA is reviewed against ethical and practice guidelines CBA, both current and those of its time, as well as against the rules for productive argument in Ian Leslie’s “Conflicted”. Also covered briefly are the positions of statistician of Sir Ronald Fisher, “How to lie with statistics” author Darrell Huff and the current cigarette companies' “Tobacco harm reduction” policy.
  • Map Updates and Flood Events on Kentucky's Housing Market. .....Fang-Yu Yeh, University of Kentucky
  • Flood events are the most common and costly natural disasters in the U.S., affecting millions of individuals each year. At the end of July 2022, several counties in Eastern Kentucky were hit by the “1-in-1000 year” flood event, which claimed more than 30 deaths and destroyed hundreds of homes, bridges, and roads. Most residents in this area do not have flood insurance because they are not in a flood zone. With extreme weather trending more noticeably in recent years, assessing the flood risk belief associated with flood maps is important for land-use regulations and flood preparation plans. This paper contributes to the literature by studying the effects of both the flood map changes and flooding events on Kentucky’s housing market and by comparing the changes in flood discount between flood-prone areas and non-flood-prone areas. Using Zillow’s ZTRAX property transaction data and FEMA’s floodplain maps, I show that housing values decrease by 6.5% when a property is mapped into a floodplain in an area that has experienced a large flood within a year and increase by 4% when a property is removed from a flood zone in an area without flooding recently. However, the housing prices do not rebound when mapped out from a floodplain in a flood-prone area or drop when assigned into a flood zone in a less flood-prone area. The findings imply that it is important for FEMA to keep the flood maps updated as individuals update risk beliefs in response to map updates and recent flooding. With the increased frequency and intensity of floods due to climate change, the benefits of more frequent updates on the information allow individuals to assess their risks and communities to prepare for future floodplain management more accurately.
  • Better Banking Regulation for Brazil: Regulatory Impact Analysis in the Financial Sector. .....Gabriela Silva, George Mason University
  • In this presentation, we will discuss the investigation conducted on better regulation practices within the Brazilian Central Bank (BCB), in particular the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), in order to evaluate the feasibility of quality regulation in the Brazilian financial sector. RIA has been gaining increasing importance for Brazilian Administrative Law, especially after Brazil passed two laws and a presidential decree that made its use mandatory in regulatory policy formulation. On October 14, 2021, the BCB became legally required to use RIA as a policy-making tool. In the preliminary stage of this investigation, empirical research was carried out to evaluate if the BCB had complied with these newly implemented provisions, from October 14, 2021, to October 14, 2022. Through this research, it was possible to identify that none of the 98 (ninety-eight) normative acts issued by the BCB were preceded by AIR. Within the first year of RIA's mandatory use for the BCB, 85.7% of the normative acts analysed were classified as hypotheses of dismissal or inapplicability. In addition, RIA dismissals were unjustified in 14.3% of the normative acts. Given these results and the extensive literature on “better regulation” policies, in this research, we intend to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze the documents that supported the decision to waive RIA within the scope of the Brazilian Central Bank, to understand what circumstances led the BCB to choose to waive the use of RIA in its normative decision-making process and how this affects the Brazilian Central Bank mandate and its regulatory functions. Comparatively to the United States, Ellig (2020) proposed that financial regulatory agencies could produce useful economic analysis to inform the regulatory decision, considering three principles: (i) focus on RIA, not just benefit-cost analysis (BCA); (ii) the analysis is not the final decision, and (iii) build institutional capacity to support objective analysis.
56. Education and Training [Individual Paper Presentations]
Tuesday | 1:15 pm-2:45 pm | Online: Virtual Room 3

Chair: Scott Farrow, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • CBDC: An opportunity for Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) in Developing Countries.. .....Adebola Daramola, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • An economic evaluation of regulation, public policy, and rules is not common in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). High-Income Countries (HICs) like the United States and the United Kingdom expect an economic analysis of rulemaking which is known as Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA), or Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA). Either BCA or RIA is an acceptable toolkit to provide evidence for policymakers’ decision-making. In recent years, donors are pushing for EMDEs to use BCA in evaluating the positive and negative effects of proposed (ex-ante) or existing (ex-post) regulations in sectors such as agriculture, financial services for the poor, water and sanitation, and education. This paper sees an opportunity to use RIA to assess central bank digital currency (CBDC), a new policy response of EMDEs to financial inclusion. The focus is on Nigeria as a country of study, which is the first African country to introduce CBDC, eNaira, to the public. This exploratory paper employs RIA to measure the benefits and costs of eNaira implementation. The study shows there are data to attribute benefits and costs in assessing the regulatory impact of eNaira. In addition, there is qualitative information to help gauge the observed effect of the eNaira regulation.
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Telework and Reentry. .....Andrew Whitaker, Federal Aviation Administration
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, telework has been gaining popularity as a way to allow employees to continue to work without exposing them to undue risk. As society has reopened, there has been much discussion about moving employees away from a telework and into an in-person work modality, often with the assumption that in-person work is more productive than telework. In order to provide better information on whether returning to in-person work (“reentry”), I develop a framework to perform a cost-benefit analysis of reentry. I consider the benefits and costs of reentry to various degrees. I quantify the various costs associated with reentry and measure them with Employee-Hour Equivalents (EHEs). One EHE represents the amount of work that would be done by an employee working for one hour when 100% teleworking. This allows managers to make, on a case-by-case basis, an informed judgement on whether the extra productivity generated by reentry (benefits) would offset productivity losses (costs). The driving motive behind this analysis is that the benefits of in-person work, as opposed to telework, are difficult to quantify. The literature is inconsistent on whether telework has increased or decreased productivity, to say nothing of the magnitude of these changes. Therefore, I attempt to sidestep this problem by instead presenting managers with a simple threshold test: if your employees came back to work in-person, would they generate 1.25 EHE of productivity each day? While a manager may not know exactly how many EHEs will be generated, I anticipate that at least some will be able to intuitively answer this question definitively, and thus obtain an answer to the question, “Is reentry worth it?”
  • Opportunity cost in an internal labor market: The complicated case of domestic and international military pilot training. .....Scott Farrow, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Peter Doeringer, Boston University
  • The military services operate a large “internal labor market” where wages are indexed by an administrative formula, many jobs are filled internally along promotion ladders defined by military rank, and jobs often require specialized military training. While this training may be partly transferable to counterpart civilian jobs other parts may not, as in the case of pilots. The value of investments in the military training of pilots is much higher because it is an essential complementary skill for operating U.S. military aircraft, some of which are sold to other countries along with training. Training military pilots also uses costly capital capacity. Therefore, the actual labor costs for “internal” military training may not reflect their specific opportunity costs. Consider the case of a military Instructor Pilot (IP) who may train either US military pilots or international personnel linked to (real) foreign military sales. Assigning the IP to one type of trainee preempts training the other type. This paper presents a general framework for measuring the opportunity costs of these alternative types of training and estimates costs for the case of US military pilots. The estimate developed depends importantly on the skill set of the pilot being trained to match a specific aircraft technology and the presence of short-term or structural constraints in the training pipeline. For example, a structural constraint may lead to a present value opportunity cost of tens of millions of dollars while a short-term delay may be captured by a delayed present value that is a fraction of that amount but still significant.
57. Lessons Learned From the Role of BCA in Competitive Federal Programs [Roundtable/Panel]
Tuesday | 1:15 pm-2:45 pm | Online: Virtual Room 4

Organizer: David Metz, RAND Corporation
Chair: David Metz, RAND Corporation

  • Noreen Clancy, RAND Corporation;
  • Douglas Ligor, RAND Corporation;
  • David Metz, RAND Corporation;
  • Benjamin Miller, RAND Corporation;
  • Jordan Fischbach, The Water Institute;
58. Chat with SBCA Officers and Board Members [Roundtable/Panel]
Tuesday | 3:00 pm-4:00 pm | Online: Virtual Room 1
59. Keynote: Valuing Health and Human Life in Policy-Making: Why is Health (Not So) Different? (Emily Lancsar)* [Plenary]
Tuesday | 4:00 pm-5:30 pm | Online: Virtual Room 1

Chair: Don Kenkel, Cornell University

Index to Participants

Abbott, Linda: 22
Ackerley, Nyssa: 12
Acland, Dan: 5 , 10 , 28
Adamowicz, Vic: 14
Ahmed, Sali: 3
Ahn, Jae-Wan: 16
Allcott, Hunt: 28
Andersson, Henrik: 24 , 30 , 44
Arlota, Carolina: 50
Arroyos Calvera, Danae: 26 , 46
Bae, Jung: 30
Baehler, Karen: 22
Bahn, Rachel: 29
Bailey, Amy: 25
Bailey, Mark: 14
Balukas, Jessica: 4
Batabyal, Amit: 39 , 54
Baxter, Andrew: 20
Baxter, Jennifer: 7 , 26
Bean de Hernandez, Alison: 21
Becker, Nir: 4
Behr, Chris: 21
Belleguie, Antoine: 11
Belova, Anna: 4
Belzer, Richard: 5 , 9
Bennear, Lori: 20
Berlind, Ayesha: 12
Black, Michael: 12
Blincoe, Larry (NHTSA): 19
Blomquist, Glenn: 1 , 25 , 34
Brent, Robert J: 18
Bromberg, Kevin: 13
Brown, Brad: 16
Brown, Leah: 6
Brown, Randall: 37 , 52
Bruns, Richard: 18
Bryant, Benjamin: 20
Bryant, Isaiah: 54
Buła, Rafał: 38
Byrd, Katie: 39
Caner, Asena: 35
Canning, David: 36 , 51
Carrigan, Christopher: 49
Carter, Patrick: 40
Cecot, Caroline: 13
Chiari, Elena: 30
Chilton, Susan: 26 , 53
Clancy, Noreen: 57
Collini, Renee: 31
Combes, Francois: 11
Covey, Judith: 46
Cropper, Mauren: 41
Dalafave, Rachel: 53
Danks, Amanda: 6
Daramola, Adebola: 56
Dinces, Sarah: 40
Dinger, Tai: 18
Doeringer, Peter: 56
Dudley, Susan: 13 , 49
Duff, Cameron: 38
Dunne, Joseph: 49
Duxbury, Darren: 53
Eaton, Eleanor: 53
Eftim, Sorina: 4
El Barj, Houda Nait: 28
Farrow, Scott: 56
Febrizio, Mark: 9 , 13
Ferranna, Maddalena: 51
Finucane, Mariel: 37
Fischbach, Jordan: 57
Fleurbaey, Marc: 51
Florio, Massimo: 15
Foltyn-Zarychta, Monika: 38
Fowler, Anthony: 37
Freund, Deborah: 48
Gamba, Simona: 15 , 27
Garrison, Louis: 48
Gentzkow, Matthew: 28
Gerber, Dominik: 34
Giguere, Christopher: 38
Gilmore, Elisabeth: 25
Ginbo, Tsegaye: 14
Göransson, Jessica: 44
Graham, John: 39
Greenberg, David: 5
Gungor, Ali: 6
Hamilton, Richard: 21
Hammitt, James: 51
Hammitt, James: 18 , 23 , 26 , 46
Hanmer, Janel: 26
Hartnett, Michael: 31
Hashemi, Majid: 27 , 50
Hashemipour, Majid: 45 , 54
Hazans, Mihails: 34
Heberle, Colleen: 6
Helgeson, Jennifer: 25 , 31
Herrera, Daniel: 43 , 46
Hlavka, Jakub: 39
Hoffmann, Sandra: 16
Hollis, Carrie: 40
Horsch, Eric: 38
Hunt, Alistair: 53
Hyman, Eric: 29
Jafino, Bramka: 25
Jenkins, Glenn: 45 , 50 , 54
Jenkins, Glenn: 27 , 54
Jenkins, Hatice: 45
Jin, Yana: 46
John, Richard: 39
Jones, Jason: 4
Jussila Hammes, Johanna: 33
Jusypenko, Bartosz: 14
KABRE, Anicet: 11
Karoly, Lynn: 52
Karpestam, Peter: 30
Kashi, Bahman: 29
Kearsley, Aaron: 28
Kellis, Lucile: 30
Kellis, Lucile: 30
Kenkel, Don: 28 , 35 , 59
Kho, Kevin: 12
Kiesel, André: 4
Kim, Elizabeth: 12
Kim, Elizabeth: 16
Koning, Martin: 11 , 44 , 47
Kourtit, Karima: 54
Krekel, Christian: 51
Lazar, Nicole: 37
Le Goff, Alix: 44
Letrouit, Lucie: 11
Levin, Jesse: 6
Li, Jia: 25
Ligor, Douglas: 57
Lindahl, Alex: 4
Linquiti, Peter: 22
Liu, Pengfei: 2
Lloyd-Smith, Patrick: 14
Long, David: 52
Lu, Xiaoli: 32
Lublóy, Ágnes: 34
Lyons, Karen: 40
Machado, Juan: 39
Marchal, Clément: 44
Massey, Matt: 8
Mathios, Alan: 28
McDonald, Rebecca: 26 , 46
McGraw, Marquise: 22
McLaughlin, Cristina: 12
McQueen, Robert: 16
Merker, Jonathan: 21
Metz, David: 57
Meyer, Carl: 28
Miklyaev, Mikhail: 27
Miller, Benjamin: 57
Miller, Gregory: 4
Milne, Frank: 50
Minor, Travis: 16
Molnar, Peter: 30
Monchambert, Guillaume: 44
Moore, Rob: 31
Moscoso, Alex: 14
Movsesyan, Gabriel: 11 , 19
Mussio, Irene: 53
Muzis, Teodors: 34
Mzhavanadze, Giorgi: 35
Narrod, Clare: 12
Nazari Chamaki, Foroogh: 45 , 54
Nerhagen, Lena: 33
Neumann, Peter: 48
Nijkamp, Peter: 54
Nilsson, Jan-Eric: 33
Njau, Joseph: 12 , 16
Nordstrom, Ardyn: 19
Nordstrom, Morgan: 19
Norheim, Ole: 51
Nyström, Johan: 33
O'Connor, Alan: 21
Odolinski, Kristoferf: 33
Ögren, Mikael: 30
Paalzow, Anders: 34
Parker, Camille: 29
Parton, Lee: 2
Pertile, Paolo: 27
Phelps, Charles: 48
Phillips, Grace: 28
Pickersgill, Sarah: 3
Pluta, Anna: 34
Pokharel, Trilochan: 35
Pyddoke, Roger: 44
Qureshi, Maria: 35
Raich, William: 26
Ramadhan, Choky: 3
Ramirez, Gerardo: 16
Raunikar, Ronald: 19
Revesz, Richard: 5
Rheinberger, Christoph: 46
Righetti, Giovanni: 27
Rimants Žogota, Rimants: 34
Robichet, Antoine: 11
Robinson, Lisa: 10 , 18 , 51
Romano, Laura: 4
Rose, Adam Zachary: 39
Ross, Ian: 45
Sassi, Aliya: 12
Scallan Walter, Elaine: 16
Seaman, Mark: 30
Seested Nielsen, Jytte: 26 , 53
Sertkaya, Aylin: 12
Shapiro, Stuart: 10 , 13
Sharma, Smriti: 53
Sheahan, Megan: 26
Silva, Gabriela: 49 , 55
Smith, Jacob: 36
Smith, Robert: 55
Song, Lena: 28
Sullivan, Mary: 49
Sun, Lei: 32
Tejeda, Jose: 14
Thornton, Craig: 37 , 52
Todd, Petra: 16
Tuncel, Tuba: 26
Ünel, Burçin: 5
Varaku, Kerda: 30
Vārpina, Zane: 34
Vásquez Lavín, Felipe: 6
Vilain, Pierre: 30
Viscusi, Kip: 53
Walker, Sheri: 12
Walls, Margaret: 25
Walmsley, Terrie: 39
Walsh, Amanda: 21
Walsh, Patrick: 2 , 8
Wan, Jianxing: 20
Wang, Hua: 28
Wang, Shasha: 4 , 16
Wang, Yanying: 46
Watkins, Benjamin: 9
Watkins, David: 3
Wei, Dan: 39
Whitaker, Andrew: 6 , 56
White, Alice: 16
Whitehead, John: 2 , 8
Whittington, Dale: 10
Wiener, Jonathan: 39
Wong, Brad: 3
Xu, Jianhua: 32
Yeh, Fang-Yu: 55
Yu, Ao: 36
Zapata, Samuel: 8
Zasova, Anna: 34
Zeng, Sen: 28
Zerbe, Richard: 21
Zhang, Shiqiu: 46
Zheng, Enying: 32
Zheng, Jiakun: 32
Zomorodi, Kaveh: 31