Harvard Online Course – Benefit-Cost Analysis: Valuing Life and Health
Mon. 21 September 2020 – Fri. 25 September 2020
Benefit-cost analysis is a well-established and widely used approach for systematically assessing the impacts of environmental, health, and safety policies and informing decisions. It is a required component of the policy development process followed by many government agencies and organizations around the world.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, benefit-cost analysis has received unprecedented attention, as it often informs response efforts and related policies. However, this attention has highlighted confusion about the overall framework, its advantages and limitations, and the approaches used to value mortality risk reductions, commonly referred to as the value per statistical life (VSL). Understanding the appropriate use of benefit-cost analysis and its implications is crucial given the importance of promoting evidence-based decisions.
In this short online program, Lisa A. Robinson, a leading Harvard expert on benefit-cost analysis, will aid you in understanding the benefit-cost analysis framework and its application globally. You will learn the methods used for valuing changes in health and longevity, the values recommended for use in high-, middle-, and low-income settings, and the implications of the results. Through interactive presentations and extensive discussion, you will develop a deeper understanding of these approaches and of their application.
You will leave this program understanding the advantages and limitations of benefit-cost analysis, improving your ability to evaluate, interpret, and use the results.