Scioto Analysis Releases Ohio Handbook of Cost-Benefit Analysis

On Tuesday, Scioto Analysis released the Ohio Handbook of Cost-Benefit Analysis, a handbook for policy analysts in the state of Ohio interested in adding cost-benefit analysis to their policy analytic toolkit.

The Handbook provides an overview of the theory behind cost-benefit analysis, standard formulas used in cost-benefit analysis, and a checklist for those carrying out a cost-benefit analysis.

“Analysts in Ohio interested in cost-benefit analysis will be able to use this guide as a quick and dirty introduction to the practice,” said Rob Moore, principal of Scioto Analysis. “Cost-benefit analysis is a key tool for bringing numbers to the discussion on budgetary and regulatory decisions policymakers need to make.”

Last Spring, Scioto Analysis conducted a study of the use of cost-benefit analysis in the state of Ohio, finding 27 studies from 2012 to 2018 that measured costs and projected some sort of outcomes of state-level policies. None of these studies, though, followed all the best practices of cost-benefit analysis. Scioto Analysis’s cost-benefit analysis on the state earned income tax credit released last month was the first best-practices cost-benefit analysis carried out on a state program in Ohio in over a decade.

“More resources like these will make it easier for analysts to conduct cost-benefit analyses according to best practice: monetizing costs and benefits against a baseline, discounting, conducting sensitivity analysis, and disclosing assumptions,” said Moore. “We look forward to seeing the improved analysis that this handbook makes possible.”