Cost-Benefit and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
Bringing the full value of nature to policy decisions
Cost-benefit analyses and cost-effectiveness analyses are not unique to economics, let alone to ecological-economics. People commonly try to achieve outcomes for which the benefits outweigh the costs, or, once an outcome is chosen, we want to get there in the least costly way possible. The challenge with decisions and outcomes affecting the environment is that it is too easy to miss or otherwise leave out the costs of lost non-market benefits, including ecosystem service value, and to discount the interests of future generations and other vulnerable populations affected by even seemingly rational policy choices.
Our work aims to ensure the most complete picture possible of the magnitude and, increasingly, the distribution of costs and benefits are available to stakeholders and communicated to decision makers. Although not sufficient for achieving environmental outcomes that are socially just, ecologically sustainable, and economically efficient, such information is absolutely necessary for making those outcomes possible.
applications and outcomes
Key-Log Economics’ experts have completed analyses of costs and/or benefits related to the flood control in the Delaware River Watershed, methane emissions from the solid waste and wastewater treatment sectors in Vietnam, nutrient and sediment pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, timber and other ecosystem service utilization in Indiana’s state forests, to name a few.
places and projects
U.S. West Including Alaska
South and Southeast Asia
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses (rev. 2014) is a veritable textbook for doing CBA and CEA. (Indeed our founder assigns it as such in his masters level courses.)
To the extent that ecosystem service values figure into the costs and/or benefits of conservation and development proposals, the EcoValuator, our QGIS plug-in for mapping ecosystem services of a custom region, should be in your toolbox.