States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis: Improving Results for Taxpayers

Source: Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative, July 2013

This first-of-its-kind study measures states’ use of cost-benefit analysis. The approach compares the expense of public programs to the returns they deliver, enabling policymakers to direct limited dollars toward the most cost-effective programs and policies while curbing spending on those that have proven to be ineffective. This report is intended to serve as a resource for policy leaders seeking to expand their use of cost-benefit analysis and as a baseline for future studies of states’ progress in using rigorous evidence to better inform tough budget and policy choices.