The demand for cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) of justice programs keeps growing, but the supply of high-quality studies has not kept pace. Analysts deal with a number of challenges, from acquiring good data to balancing the precision and accuracy of studies with their policy relevance.
CBKB’s new white paper, Advancing the Quality of Cost-Benefit Analysis for Justice Programs, was developed to help guide analysts through the methodological challenges of conducting justice-related CBAs, such as:
- Selecting perspectives to include in justice-related CBAs;
- Predicting and measuring the impacts of justice programs and policies;
- Monetizing (placing dollar values on) those initiatives;
- Dealing with uncertainty; and
- Making cost-benefit studies clearer and more accessible.
If you have been following CBKB and reading our blog, you know that we recently hosted a webinar called “Making Sense of the Bottom Line: A Guide to Reading Cost-Benefit Reports.” We also created this two-page handout, which summarizes the webinar and explains what to look for in a justice-related cost-benefit analysis (CBA).
Cost-benefit studies examine the future benefits and costs of a program or policy as well as current benefits and costs. Discounting provides a way to compare the dollar value of costs and benefits received in different time periods to present values. This document describes the purpose of discounting, explains how it is used in cost-benefit analysis (CBA), and provides information on selecting discount rates.