Thanks to everyone who attended our latest webinar, “Decisions, Decisions: What Policymakers Need to Know About Cost-Benefit Analysis.” A total of 152 people participated in the live webinar on October 25. You can watch the presentation and view the PowerPoint slides below.
Our thanks to Craig Prins of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission for presenting the webinar with our staff.
When we talk about uncertainty, we’re not describing data or a study or other inanimate objects. We feel uncertain when we don’t know enough. In cost-benefit analysis (CBA), most of our uncertainties arise because of two factors:
- The impacts of policies or programs may be hard to measure or predict; and
- The value of those impacts may be difficult to monetize—that is, assigning dollar values to them can be challenging.
This month on the blog we’ll focus on the roles risk and uncertainty play in cost-benefit analyses (CBA) of justice policies.
In the simplest terms, uncertainty involves knowledge and risk involves action. Uncertainty is a degree of doubt or some lack of confidence about what we know. In cost-benefit studies, uncertainties arise because of possible differences between a policy’s effects and the measurements or projections of those effects—and because the monetary values assigned to those effects are estimated, not iron-clad.