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What Works and What Does Not? Benefit-Cost Findings from WSIPP

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Stephanie Lee, Steve Aos, Annie Pennucci - February 2015

For the last 20 years, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) has conducted systematic evidence reviews and economic analysis on a variety of topics for the Washington State Legislature. Over time, we have improved and refined the methods we use to conduct this research.

When WSIPP undertakes an economic analysis at the direction of the legislature, we use a standardized set of procedures to collect and analyze research literature. We then apply consistent methods to translate the research findings to dollars and cents, asking, “What are the overall benefits and costs?” of each program or policy option. Finally, we use information about the uncertainty in the research findings and economic assumptions to compute the risk associated with each policy option.

The primary goal of this research is to provide the legislature with objective information about the long-term economic consequences of each program or policy option reviewed. In this report, we summarize our current findings.

Report ID: 15-02-4101

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