Scan brief descriptions of initiatives and work conducted by our center community and our decision science colleagues across the globe.

Regulatory Analysis: Distribution Effects?

Prior to putting forth a major health, environmental, or safety regulation, government agencies in the U.S. are generally expected to analyze the distribution of its impacts as well as its total costs and benefits. This review of several regulatory analyses found that agencies’ analyses provide little information on distributional impacts.

Valuing Mortality Risk Reduction

The value of mortality risk reductions, conventionally expressed as the value per statistical life, is an important determinant of the net benefits of many government policies. This review found that few studies of illness-related risks in the United States meet criteria for good quality, although those that do yield similar values to studies of injury-related risks.

Valuing Nonfatal Health Risk

This study used a stated-preference survey fielded to an internet panel representative of the adult US population to estimate willingness to pay for small reductions in the risk of nonfatal health conditions, finding it is proportional to the stated reduction in probability of illness and is an increasing but highly concave function of the severity and duration of the illness.

Global Health 2035: Value of a Life Year

In "Global Health 2035," The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health adds the value of increased life expectancy to the value of growth in GDP when assessing national well-being. This paper investigates the sensitivity of this estimate to underlying assumptions such as the effects of income, age, life expectancy, and the sequencing of calculations.

Regulatory Impact Analyses: Tips

Regulatory impact analyses (RIAs) weigh the benefits of regulations against the burdens they impose and can be important and useful tools for informing decision makers. This Consumer’s Guide to Regulatory Impact Analysis offers 10 tips for non-specialist policymakers, decision makers and interested stakeholders who will be reading RIAs as consumers.

Economic Evaluation and COVID-19

COVID-19-related policies are fraught trade-offs. This perspective article outlines how policy-makers can use economic evaluation methods to be more transparent and logical when making these difficult decisions. Read the article and listen to the author interview podcast.

Featured Resource: Guidelines for Benefit-Cost Analysis

For more information on conducting benefit-cost analysis in low- and middle-income settings, see the methods papers and case studies prepared by the Guidelines for Benefit-Cost Analysis project team. These resources have been created to improve the quality of benefit-cost analyses, expand its use, and increase its comparability. Funding is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.