Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Benefit-Cost Results

Since the 1990s, the Washington State legislature has directed WSIPP to identify “evidence-based” policies. The goal is to provide Washington policymakers and budget writers with a list of well-researched public policies that can, with a high degree of certainty, lead to better statewide outcomes coupled with a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

Research Approach. WSIPP has developed a three-step process to draw conclusions about what works and what does not to achieve particular outcomes of legislative interest. First, we systematically assess all high-quality studies from the United States and elsewhere to identify policy options that have been tested and found to achieve improvements in outcomes. Second, we determine how much it would cost Washington taxpayers to produce the results found in Step 1, and calculate how much it would be worth to people in Washington State to achieve the improved outcome. That is, in dollars and cents terms, we compare the benefits and costs of each policy option. It is important to note that the benefit-cost estimates pertain specifically to Washington State; results will vary from state to state. Third, we assess the risk in the estimates to determine the odds that a particular policy option will at least break even. ...show more

WSIPP acknowledges the MacArthur Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts that have helped fund some of the research reported on this page.

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For details on our benefit-cost methods, contact Stephanie Lee or download our technical documentation.

Latest Results. The tables on this webpage present our current findings for a variety of public policy topics. Items on these tables are updated periodically as new information becomes available. Interested readers can find more information by clicking each entry in the tables.

Benefit-cost methods last updated December 2016
Search by program description

Current estimates replace old estimates. Numbers will change over time as a result of model inputs and monetization methods.

All Research Areas
Juvenile Justice
Adult Criminal Justice
Child Welfare
Pre-K to 12 Education
Children's Mental Health
Health Care
Substance Abuse
Adult Mental Health
Public Health & Prevention
Workforce Development
Higher Education
Public Health & Prevention
For questions on benefit-cost results relating to Public Health & Prevention, contact Stephanie Lee.
Program name
(click on the program name for more detail)
Date of last literature review
Total benefits
Taxpayer benefits
Non-taxpayer benefits
Costs
Benefits minus costs (net present value)
Benefit to cost ratio
Chance benefits will exceed costs
School-based
Mentoring for students: school-based (taxpayer costs only) Jun. 2014 $27,904 $8,571 $19,333 ($1,171) $26,733 $23.84 74 %
Mentoring for students: school-based (with volunteer costs) Jun. 2014 $26,607 $8,312 $18,295 ($1,825) $24,782 $14.58 72 %
School-based programs to increase physical activity Nov. 2015 $15,296 $3,695 $11,601 ($464) $14,832 $32.94 67 %
Seattle Social Development Project Apr. 2012 $15,860 $5,096 $10,764 ($3,712) $12,148 $4.27 66 %
Positive Action Aug. 2015 $11,793 $3,012 $8,781 ($440) $11,353 $26.81 88 %
Good Behavior Game Apr. 2012 $10,342 $2,671 $7,671 ($161) $10,181 $64.18 71 %
Caring School Community (formerly Child Development Project) Jun. 2014 $10,123 $2,572 $7,551 ($1,240) $8,883 $8.17 61 %
Other school-wide positive behavior programs Aug. 2015 $8,256 $2,164 $6,092 ($612) $7,644 $13.49 77 %
Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) Jun. 2015 $7,560 $1,843 $5,717 ($356) $7,204 $21.24 63 %
Behavioral Monitoring and Reinforcement Program (BMRP) Apr. 2012 $6,775 $1,942 $4,833 ($1,327) $5,448 $5.11 63 %
School-based tobacco prevention programs Dec. 2014 $4,720 $1,204 $3,516 ($63) $4,657 $74.88 99 %
Model Smoking Prevention Program Dec. 2014 $3,274 $752 $2,522 ($32) $3,242 $101.92 92 %
Project EX Dec. 2014 $3,002 $760 $2,243 ($59) $2,943 $50.61 90 %
All Stars Dec. 2014 $2,689 $632 $2,057 ($103) $2,586 $26.07 97 %
Life Skills Training Jun. 2014 $1,706 $410 $1,296 ($99) $1,607 $17.25 66 %
SPORT Jun. 2014 $1,498 $383 $1,115 ($39) $1,459 $38.29 70 %
Alcohol Literacy Challenge (for high school students) Jun. 2016 $995 $311 $684 ($4) $991 $257.22 59 %
ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives) Dec. 2014 $621 $161 $459 ($38) $583 $16.39 56 %
keepin' it REAL Jun. 2014 $573 $184 $390 ($49) $525 $11.79 62 %
Too Good for Drugs Dec. 2014 $500 $122 $378 ($53) $447 $9.45 91 %
Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence Jun. 2014 $508 $132 $376 ($96) $412 $5.29 65 %
American Indian adolescent substance abuse prevention programs Dec. 2014 $466 $188 $278 ($55) $411 $8.42 54 %
Project Towards No Drug Abuse (TND) Jun. 2014 $427 $136 $290 ($65) $361 $6.54 57 %
Project ALERT Jul. 2014 $473 $139 $334 ($150) $322 $3.15 64 %
Coping Power Program Jun. 2016 $2,006 $690 $1,316 ($1,806) $200 $1.11 50 %
School-based BMI screening and parental notification Nov. 2015 ($48) ($15) ($33) ($25) ($73) ($1.90) 50 %
Youth advocacy/empowerment programs for tobacco prevention Dec. 2014 ($165) ($39) ($126) ($23) ($188) ($7.27) 37 %
School-based obesity prevention education Nov. 2015 ($81) ($10) ($71) ($116) ($197) ($0.69) 48 %
Responsive Classroom Oct. 2015 $344 $154 $189 ($541) ($197) $0.64 48 %
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Aug. 2015 ($281) ($153) ($128) ($54) ($335) ($5.19) 49 %
Project SUCCESS Aug. 2014 ($194) ($28) ($166) ($158) ($352) ($1.23) 41 %
Preschool programs to create a healthy food environment and increase physical activity Nov. 2015 ($230) ($36) ($194) ($248) ($478) ($0.93) 44 %
InShape Jun. 2014 ($562) ($172) ($390) ($15) ($577) ($37.34) 46 %
Home- or Family-based
Nurse Family Partnership Apr. 2012 $16,208 $6,518 $9,690 ($10,049) $6,159 $1.61 58 %
Parents as Teachers Apr. 2012 $8,843 $3,014 $5,830 ($2,688) $6,156 $3.29 67 %
Other home visiting programs for at-risk mothers and children Apr. 2012 $11,075 $4,415 $6,660 ($5,870) $5,205 $1.89 63 %
Family-based tobacco and substance use prevention Dec. 2014 $5,109 $1,315 $3,794 ($181) $4,928 $28.17 100 %
Parent Management Training - Oregon Model (Prevention population) May. 2015 $5,108 $1,427 $3,680 ($650) $4,458 $7.86 60 %
Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth 10-14 Apr. 2012 $4,126 $1,076 $3,050 ($825) $3,301 $5.00 71 %
Computer-based substance use prevention programs Dec. 2014 $2,713 $700 $2,013 ($70) $2,643 $38.66 70 %
Family Matters Jun. 2016 $1,779 $474 $1,305 ($194) $1,585 $9.19 74 %
Guiding Good Choices (formerly Preparing for the Drug Free Years) Jun. 2014 $1,791 $538 $1,252 ($666) $1,124 $2.69 56 %
Healthy Families America Apr. 2012 $5,811 $3,165 $2,647 ($4,797) $1,015 $1.21 51 %
Family Check-Up (also known as Positive Family Support) Jun. 2014 ($205) ($19) ($186) ($329) ($534) ($0.62) 41 %
Familias Unidas Jun. 2016 ($161) $172 ($333) ($1,469) ($1,630) ($0.11) 41 %
Parent Child Home Program Apr. 2012 $2,914 $2,357 $557 ($5,787) ($2,873) $0.50 43 %
Community-based
Computer-based programs for smoking cessation Dec. 2014 $33,330 $7,039 $26,292 ($40) $33,290 $828.87 100 %
Text messaging programs for smoking cessation Dec. 2014 $19,795 $3,986 $15,808 ($52) $19,742 $378.89 100 %
Quantum Opportunities Program Apr. 2012 $44,967 $17,081 $27,885 ($27,034) $17,933 $1.66 61 %
Mentoring for students: community-based (taxpayer costs only) Jun. 2014 $13,190 $4,031 $9,159 ($1,289) $11,900 $10.23 71 %
Mentoring for students: community-based (with volunteer costs) Jun. 2014 $12,783 $4,193 $8,590 ($3,260) $9,523 $3.92 66 %
Communities That Care Apr. 2012 $2,438 $657 $1,781 ($585) $1,853 $4.17 80 %
Project STAR Jul. 2014 $1,765 $464 $1,301 ($510) $1,255 $3.46 73 %
Project Northland Jun. 2014 $885 $225 $660 ($188) $696 $4.70 74 %
PROSPER Jun. 2016 $824 $326 $498 ($523) $301 $1.58 55 %
Children's Aid Society--Carrera Apr. 2012 $7,658 $4,215 $3,444 ($14,782) ($7,124) $0.52 41 %
CASASTART Apr. 2012 ($6,369) ($417) ($5,952) ($7,075) ($13,443) ($0.90) 20 %
Fast Track prevention program Apr. 2012 ($21,407) $2,453 ($23,860) ($61,221) ($82,628) ($0.35) 0 %
Population-level policies
Access to tobacco quitlines Dec. 2014 $21,052 $1,645 $19,407 ($214) $20,838 $98.17 95 %
More intensive tobacco quitlines (compared to less intensive quitlines) Dec. 2014 $9,915 $1,650 $8,265 ($130) $9,784 $76.10 100 %
Anti-smoking media campaign, youth effect Dec. 2014 $4,259 $987 $3,272 ($28) $4,231 $153.77 100 %
Anti-smoking media campaigns, adult effect Dec. 2014 $2,067 $595 $1,472 ($35) $2,032 $58.70 86 %
Multicomponent environmental interventions to prevent youth tobacco use Jun. 2016 $1,288 $346 $942 ($155) $1,133 $8.32 86 %
Triple-P Positive Parenting Program (System) Apr. 2012 $1,120 $387 $733 ($150) $970 $7.48 63 %
Multicomponent environmental interventions to prevent youth alcohol use Jun. 2016 ($173) ($37) ($135) ($105) ($278) ($1.64) 27 %
To view details of all Public Health & Prevention programs in a single pdf, click here.
Other Public Health & Prevention topics reviewed; benefit-cost results not yet available:
Program name
(click on the program name for more detail)
Date of last literature review Notes
10% increase in cigarette tax (effect on adults) Dec. 2014 Click for meta-analytic results
10% increase in cigarette tax (effect on youth) Dec. 2014 Click for meta-analytic results
Adolescent Sibling Pregnancy Prevention Apr. 2012 Click for meta-analytic results
Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Body Project Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Child FIRST Jul. 2014 Click for meta-analytic results
Compliance checks for alcohol Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Compliance checks for tobacco Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Curriculum-based support groups (CBSG) Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Postponing Sexual Involvement (c) Apr. 2012 Click for meta-analytic results
Protecting You/Protecting Me Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Raising Healthy Children Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Reconnecting Youth Dec. 2014 Click for meta-analytic results
School-based programs to create a healthy food environment Nov. 2015 Click for meta-analytic results
School-based service learning Apr. 2012 Click for meta-analytic results
School-based sexual education Apr. 2012 Click for meta-analytic results
Soda taxes: a 1% higher tax on soda than on other food items Nov. 2015 Click for meta-analytic results
STARS (Start Taking Alcohol Risks Seriously) for Families Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Strong African American Families Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Strong African American Families—Teen Jun. 2016 Click for meta-analytic results
Teen Outreach Program Apr. 2012 Click for meta-analytic results
Workplace-wide interventions to prevent obesity Nov. 2015 Click for meta-analytic results
4Results Mentoring Jun. 2013 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Aban Aya Youth Project Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
BrainTrain4Kids Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Celebrating Families Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Coping and Support Training Jun. 2013 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
DARE to be You Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Familias Unidas Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Friday Night Live Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Hip-hop 2 prevent substance abuse and HIV Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Lead and Seed Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Media Detective Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Media Ready Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Mobile phone "apps" for smoking cessation Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Native FACETS Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Not on Tobacco Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Nurturing Fathers Jun. 2016 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
PALS: Prevention through Alternative Learning Styles Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Project MAGIC Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Project Venture Jun. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Pyramid model May. 2015 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Reality Tour Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Red Cliff Wellness School Curriculum Jun. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Refuse, Remove, Reasons (RRR) High School Education Program Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Rock in Prevention, Rock PLUS Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Sembrando Salud Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
SMART Leaders Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Stay SMART Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Storytelling for Empowerment Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Strengthening Multi-Ethnic Families and Communities Jan. 2013 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
TAP-Helping Teens Stop Using Tobacco Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATU) Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
TEG-Intervening with Teen Tobacco Users Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Tobacco and Alcohol Prevention Program Dec. 2014 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Youth and Family Link Jun. 2016 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Click to expand
For more information on the methods
used please see our Technical Documentation.
360.664.9800
institute@wsipp.wa.gov