Benefit-Cost Analysis in Global Health
Forthcoming as Chapter 7 in: Global Health Priority-Setting: Beyond Cost-Effectiveness (O. Norheim et al., eds.), Oxford, UK and New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
21 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2017
Date Written: January 2017
Decisions on investing in health as well as other policies require deciding how to best allocate available resources - recognizing that using labor, materials, and other resources for one purpose means that they cannot be used for other purposes. Approaches for economic evaluation, including cost-effectiveness analysis and benefit-cost analysis, have in common the overarching goal of providing information on policy impacts, so as to provide an evidence-base for decisions. What distinguishes benefit-cost analysis is its emphasis on explicitly accounting for all significant outcomes (both health and non-health) and on valuing them in monetary units to facilitate comparison. Benefit-cost analysis makes the relative values of different outcomes explicit. As conventionally implemented, benefit-cost analysis does not address the distribution of impacts within a population, but it can be supplemented to do so.
Keywords: benefit-cost analysis, benefit valuation, morbidity risk reduction, mortality risk reduction, value per statistical life
JEL Classification: D61, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation