What is Benefit-Cost Analysis?
Benefit-cost analysis (BCA), also known as cost-benefit analysis, informs decision-making with specific types of information, namely measures in monetary terms of willingness to pay for a change by those who will benefit from it as well as of the willingness to accept the change by those who will not benefit. The use of monetary terms provides a common metric. Its purpose is not to price everything, but rather to order choices in a way that informs decision-makers about social factors.
About the Benefit-Cost Analysis Center
Supported by the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Benefit-Cost Analysis Center aims improve the understanding and use of benefit-cost analysis (BCA) as a decision-making tool. Our research and outreach is geared toward:
- Improving and standardizing benefit-cost analysis methodology
- Strengthening relationships between institutions that use it
- Disseminating information about its use and misuse
- Expanding its use when appropriate
We accomplish this by supporting the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis, convening with a variety of government agencies and academic professionals who use benefit-cost analysis in their work, and publishing academic papers on benefit-cost analysis methodology.
Staff: Erika Dowd, Executive Director, Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis
Benefit-Cost Analysis Center
Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
University of Washington
Parrington Hall, Room 226
Seattle, WA 98195-3055