SBCA 2022 Annual Conference

Hosted by the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis
Fri, 18 March, 2022 8:00am

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The Society for Benefict Cost Analysis is dedicated to the advancement, exchange of ideas, and research related to benefit-cost analysis (BCA), cost-effectiveness analysis, risk-benefit analysis, applied welfare economic analysis, and damage assessment. This year's conference theme is “Analyzing Distributional Consequences and Equity in Benefit-Cost Analysis".

Susan Dudley, Joseph Cordes, Bridget Dooling, Daniel PérezZhoudan Xie, Laura Stanley, Mark Febrizio, and Layvon Washington will all particpate in various panels throughout this conference.

The Year in Regulation: Benefits, Costs, and Other Implications of Federal Regulations in 2021 [Roundtable Discussion]

Friday, March 18 | 11:00 am-12:30 pm | Room 1

  • Organizer: Clark Nardinelli, FDA
  • Chair: Clark Nardinelli, FDA

In this roundtable, regulatory scholars and current and former OMB-OIRA officials will discuss the past year in regulation. With the end of the deregulatory push and other policies of the last administration, regulatory times have changed quickly. With OIRA’s 2021 Report to Congress on the Benefits and Costs of Federal Regulations as their starting place, the panelists will give their takes on the year’s executive branch regulations. The discussion will start with the benefits and costs of the Biden administration’s early regulations but will range beyond the regulations themselves to the types of regulations and their broader implications. The first year of a new administration’s regulations is typically quiet, as the new regime assesses the previous regime’s regulations and forms its own policy. The continuing COVID-19 pandemic alone has made this first year atypical. Moreover, the differences in philosophy between the incoming and outgoing regimes has led the new administration to call for wide recommendations for reform. The panel will therefore also consider the Presidential memorandum and three executive orders that collectively rescind the previous administration’s regulatory policies and set policy for the coming years. The panelists will consider whether the documents will establish a new regulatory program, with broad changes that will alter the nature of federal regulations


  • Bridget Dooling, George Washington University
  • Caroline Cecot, George Mason University
  • Stuart Shapiro, Rutgers University
  • Jonathan Wiener, Duke University
  • Dominic Mancini, U.S. Executive Office of the President

Modernizing Regulatory Analysis: A conversation with former OIRA Administrators [Plenary]

Friday, March 18 | 1:00 pm-2:30 pm | Room 1

  • Organizer: Susan Dudley, George Washington University
  • Chair: Richard Revesz, NYU Law School

On his first day in office, President Biden issued a Memorandum on Regulatory Review that both reaffirmed longstanding principles for regulatory analysis and review, but also directed OIRA and federal agencies to “provide concrete suggestions on how the regulatory review process can promote public health and safety, economic growth, social welfare, racial justice, environmental stewardship, human dignity, equity, and the interests of future generations.” Specifically, these recommendations were to include “revisions to Circular A-4, Regulatory Analysis” (2003) and “procedures that take into account the distributional consequences of regulations.” This conversational panel of former administrators of the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will share their insights on what to expect from the Biden Administration regarding benefit-cost analysis of regulations, including understanding distributional consequences and equity in regulatory analysis. Panelists served in the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations.


  • Sally Katzen, New York University
  • Susan Dudley, George Washington University
  • Boris Bershteyn, Skadden and Associates
  • Paul Ray, Patomak Global Partners

Recent Developments in Equity in BCA [Full Panel of Research Presentations]

Monday, March 21 | 3:00 pm-4:30 pm | Room 3

  • Organizer: Thomas Kniesner, Claremont Graduate University
  • Chair: Thomas Kniesner, Claremont Graduate University


  • Incorporating Equity Concerns in Regulation
    • Caroline Cecot, George Mason University; Robert Hahn, University of Oxford
  • Equitable Mortality Risk Benefits
    • Thomas Kniesner, Claremont Graduate University; W. Kip Viscusi, Vanderbilt University
  • Investigating Whether Agencies Consider Distributional Effects and Equity in Regulatory Analysis
  • The Military VSL
    • Ryan Sullivan, Naval Postgraduate School

Regulation Issues: Modernization, Secondary Markets, CEA, and Compliance [Full Panel of Research Presentations]

Tuesday, March 22 | 1:00 pm-2:30 pm | Room 5

  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis versus Benefit-Cost Analysis
    • Elizabeth Ashley, OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
  • When Can Benefit Cost Analyses Can Ignore Secondary Markets?
    • Matthew Kotchen, Yale University; Arik Levinson, Georgetown University
  • Economic Impact of Regulatory Compliance Processes
  • "Modernizing" Regulatory Impact Analysis
    • Richard Belzer, Consultant

Using BCA to support agile regulatory governance [Roundtable Discussion]

Tuesday, March 22 | 1:00 pm-2:30 pm | Room 1

  • Organizer: Susan Dudley, George Washington University
  • Chair: Daniel Trnka, Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development

The rise of the digital economy is one of the defining features of the 21st century. Innovation and digital technologies affect societies and economies in many ways. Governments play a major role in encouraging digital innovation and incentivising the development of these technologies for the benefit of society. They can foster broad public and consumer interests and limit any potential unintended negative consequences by providing general rules that reflect societal values and preferences. Little is yet understood on how the traditional regulatory functions of governments, including the application of regulatory management tools, such as impact assessment and benefit-cost analysis, should evolve with these transformative changes. A number of factors compound to create unprecedented challenges in the way governments and regulators operate. Regulatory frameworks might not be agile enough to accommodate the fast pace of technological development and, in many cases, rules might be outdated and no longer relevant. Beyond this pacing problem, emerging technologies challenge the ways governments regulate in fundamental and interrelated ways by blurring the traditional definition of markets, challenging enforcement, and transcending administrative boundaries domestically and internationally. The panel will discuss how governments are attempting to use BCA in an agile and integrated fashion to inform a continuous learning and adaptation process throughout the policy cycle.


  • Daniel Trnka, Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development
  • Miguel Amaral, OECD
  • Chris Carr, UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Susan Dudley, George Washington University
  • Veronica Gaffey, European Commission
  • Alexander Hunt, Office of Management & Budget
  • Brennen Young, Treasury Board Secretariat, Canada

Preventing Illness [Full Panel of Research Presentations]

Tuesday, March 22 | 5:00 pm-6:30 pm | Room 1


  • Occupational Heat Illness Prevention in California
    • David Metz, RAND Corporation; Shannon Prier, RAND Corporation; Benjamin Miller, RAND Corporation
  • Impacts of Red Imported Fire Ants to US Agriculture and Rural Communities
    • Paul Mwebaze, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Rachael Blake, The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC); Michael Springborn, University of California, Davis
  • Benefit-cost analysis of harmful algal bloom risk reduction: A multi-level solutions comparison in a co-benefits approach
    • Caroline Simard, University of Quebec in Outaouais; Justin Leroux, HEC Montreal; Jérôme Dupras, University of Quebec in Outaouais
  • A Revised Economic Analysis for OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard
    • Andrew Baxter, George Mason University; James Broughel, Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Infrastructure Investment and Funding [Full Panel of Research Presentations]

Tuesday, March 22 | 5:00 pm-6:30 pm | Room 3


  • Projected Effects of Proposed US Funding for Advanced Energy Technology Development
    • Daniel Shawhan, Resources for the Future; Kathryne Cleary, Resources for the Future; Christoph Funke, Resources for the Future; Steven Witkin, Resources for the Future
  • Wider Economic Benefits from Infrastructure Investment: Theory, Potential Significance, and Measurement
    • Don Pickrell, Volpe Center, U.S. Dept. of Transportation; Anna Solow-Collins, Volpe Center, U.S. Dept. of Transportation
  • Can privatization of distribution substations improve electricity reliability for non-residential customers? An application to Nepal
    • Majid Hashemi, Queen's University; Glenn P. Jenkins, Queen's University
  • Use of Integrated Cost-Benefit Analysis to Inform the Design of Blended and Innovative Financing Models
    • Bahman Kashi, Limestone Analytics; Aaron Bruner, Conservation International; Frederic Tremblay, Limestone Analytics; I Made Sanjaya, Conservation International; Anurag Ramachandra, Conservation International; Bara Kalla, Conservation International; Max Wright, Conservation International

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