With budgets squeezed at every level of government, cost-benefit analysis (CBA) holds outstanding potential for assessing the efficiency of many programs. In this first book to address the application of CBA to social policy, experts examine ten of the most important policy domains: early childhood development, elementary and secondary schools, health care for the disadvantaged, mental illness, substance abuse and addiction, juvenile crime, prisoner reentry programs, housing assistance, work-incentive programs for the unemployed and employers, and welfare-to-work interventions.Each contributor discusses the applicability of CBA to actual programs, describing both proven and promising examples. The editors provide an introduction to cost-benefit analysis, assess the programs described, and propose a research agenda for promoting its more widespread application in social policy. "Investing in the Disadvantaged" considers how to face America's most urgent social needs with shrinking resources, showing how CBA can be used to inform policy choices that produce social value.
David L. Weimer is professor of public affairs and political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a former president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. Aidan R. Vining is CNABS Professor of Business and Government Relations at Simon Fraser University. David L. Weimer and Aidan R. Vining are coauthors of Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice, now in its fourth edition.
ForewordMichael A. Stegman Preface 1. Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Social PoliciesAidan R. Vining and David L. Weimer 2. Early Childhood InterventionsBarbara Wolfe and Nathan Tefft3. Elementary and Secondary SchoolingClive R. Belfield 4. Health Care for Disadvantaged PopulationsDavid J. Vanness 5. Adults with Serious Mental IllnessesMark S. Salzer 6. Illicit Substance Abuse and AddictionJonathan P. Caulkins 7. Juvenile Crime InterventionsJeffrey A. Butts and John K. Roman 8. Prisoner Reentry ProgrammingJohn K. Roman and Christy Visher 9. Housing Assistance to Promote Human CapitalLance Freeman 10. Encouraging WorkRobert Lerman 11. Next Steps in Welfare-to-WorkMichael Wiseman 12. Welfare-to-Work and Work-Incentive ProgramsDavid Greenberg13. Overview of the State-of-the-Art of CBA in Social PolicyAidan R. Vining and David L. Weimer 14. Agenda for Promoting and Improving the Use of CBA in Social PolicyDavid L. Weimer and Aidan R. Vining List of Contributors Index