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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Homeland Security: Benefit-Cost Analysis without Estimating Benefits

This study group is led by Lisa Robinson, Senior Fellow, M-RCBG This week's topic is homeland security, with guest Jennifer Baxter of Industrial Economics, Incorporated. Enrolled Harvard students, faculty, fellows and staff are welcome.

Since its establishment in 2002, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has faced the challenge of assessing the economic benefit of new regulations designed to reduce the risk of successful terrorist attacks so that those benefits can be weighed against the costs of implementing the regulations. Estimating and assigning monetary values to changes in terrorism risk is difficult for several reasons, including the challenges associated with translating interventions into quantifiable risk reductions, the lack of market data to monetize the value individuals place on these risk reductions, and the classified nature of much of the existing terrorism risk information. This presentation will describe current efforts by DHS agencies to assess the benefits of their regulations using case studies, and ideas for future improvements.

Jennifer R. Baxter is a Principal at Industrial Economics, Incorporated (IEc), an economic and environmental consulting firm located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has over 17 years of experience as a consultant and specializes in designing and conducting economic analyses of complex and innovative federal regulatory programs. Her current work focuses on measuring the costs and benefits of regulations designed to improve homeland security, public health and safety, and the recovery of endangered species. Ms. Baxter’s significant expertise in the area of regulatory analysis is reflected in her work for multiple federal agencies on state-of-the-art methods and guidance development.

  • Location:
    Hauser Conference Room, Belfer Building lobby level (B-L-4)
  • Date:
    Wednesday, February 5, 2014
  • Time:
    2:40 PM

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