Research Priorities for Economic Analyses of Prevention: Current Issues and Future Directions
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In response to growing interest in economic analyses of prevention efforts, a diverse group of prevention researchers, economists, and policy analysts convened a scientific panel, on “Research Priorities in Economic Analysis of Prevention” at the 19th annual conference of the Society for Prevention Research. The panel articulated four priorities that, if followed in future research, would make economic analyses of prevention efforts easier to compare and more relevant to policymakers and community stakeholders. These priorities are: (1) increased standardization of evaluation methods, (2) improved economic valuation of common prevention outcomes, (3) expanded efforts to maximize evaluation generalizability and impact as well as (4) enhanced transparency and communicability of economic evaluations. In this paper, we define three types of economic analyses in prevention, provide context and rationale for these four priorities as well as related sub-priorities, and discuss the challenges inherent in meeting them.
KeywordsEconomic analysis Benefit–cost Economics of prevention Prevention efficiency
We would likely to gratefully acknowledge the insight of all panel members involved in the SPR 2011, 2012 meetings including: Steve Aos, Washington State Institute for Public Policy; Jon Baron, Coalition for Evidence Based Policy; Lynn Karoly, Rand Corporation; and Beverlie Fallik, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. We also appreciate the contributions of Lauren Supplee, Office of Research Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services, and Kenneth Dodge, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University.
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