Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) by Tyler Davis

I’m attending a TASCHA Talk, presented by Tyler Davis, an ESPA PhD student who is doing some BCA as part of the Global Impact Study.

Lots of “economist” assumptions here. I must admit that I’m a little biased against BCA for a few reasons (which may be disproven after I know a little more about it:)
1. Monetization. Finding a “least common denominator” in order to make a straight comparison seems exceedingly difficult and probably misleading. It typically happens in monetary terms.
2. Masking. BCA makes the tradeoffs explicit, but the “consumers” of the analysis are often happy to latch onto a number. It seems that “assigning value” is fundamentally political and if a process actually yields a number (or ratio, or whatever) it masks the values that are inherent in assigning value.

Trailed off…good conversation. These TASCHA talks are cool.

“It’s nice because it gives you the numbers to crunch.”