Our Approach to Benefit-Cost Analysis

  • Robert L. Schalock
  • Craig V. D. Thornton


Benefit-cost analysis is essentially a structured comparison. Thus, as the first step in a benefit-cost analysis, the analyst must specify the program or policy being evaluated and the program or option with which it will be compared. This specification should include information on such factors as the persons being served, the treatments being offered, and the environment in which the program or policy will operate. These two alternatives—the program and the comparison situation—essentially define the scope, and ultimately the results, of the analysis. All work in the study, including the interpretation of the findings, must be undertaken in relation to these two alternatives.


Shadow Price Fringe Benefit Gross National Product Shadow Prex Alternative Program 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Additional Readings

  1. Amemiga, T. (1985). Advanced econometrics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Collingnon, F. C., Dodson, R., & Root, G. (1977). Benefit-cost analysis of vocational rehabilitation services provided by the California Department of Rehabilitation. Berkeley: Berkeley Planning Associates.Google Scholar
  3. Gramlich, E. M. (1981). Benefit-cost analysis of government programs. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Lansing, J. B., & Morgan, J. N. (1971). Economic survey methods. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  5. Levin, H. M. (1975). Cost-effectiveness analysis in evaluation research. In M. Guttentag & E. L. Struening (Eds.), Handbook of evaluation research, Vol. 2 (pp. 89–124). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  6. Noble, J. H. (1977). The limits of cost-benefit analysis as a guide to priority-setting in rehabilitation. Evaluation Quarterly, 1, 347–480.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Rossi, P. H., & Freeman, H. E. (1982). Evaluation: A systematic approach (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Sorensen, J. E., & Grove, H. D. (1977). Cost-outcome and cost-effectiveness analysis: Emerging nonprofit performance evaluation techniques. The Accounting Review, 52(3), 658–675.Google Scholar
  9. Thompson, M. D. (1980). Benefit-cost analysis for program evaluation. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Warner, K. E., & Luce, B. R. (1982). Cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis in health care. Ann Arbor, MI: Health Administration Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Schalock
    • 1
  • Craig V. D. Thornton
    • 2
  1. 1.Hastings College and Mid-Nebraska Mental Retardation Services, Inc.HastingsUSA
  2. 2.Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.PrincetonUSA

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