CSLS Invitational Seminar Series on Living Standards

Adapting Cost-Benefit Analysis to 21st Century Regulatory Requirements and Democratic Institutions

David Lewis

HDR Corporation and Centre for the Study of Living Standards

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cost-benefit analysis is one of the most powerful techniques in economics and regulatory analysis. In his presentation, Dr. Lewis will argue that it can be made even more effective in supporting public policy formulation, and particularly the rulemaking process, if it is broadened to capture a wider range of costs and benefits and recast as a discursive procedure for facilitating consensus and decision-by-discussion. He lays out an operational framework involving ways to disseminate reference agendas, elicit opinion and judgment, and facilitate consensus. He provides a number of concrete examples in the Canadian context where this new way of approaching cost-benefit analysis would shed greater light on key economic and social issues, and result in better public policy.

David Lewis is Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at HDR Corporation, a large consulting firm. He is responsible for the economics practice, which employs 25 economists in seven cities. He also serves as a Senior Research Associate to the Centre for the Study of Living Standards. He obtained his PhD in economics from the London School of Economics and has served as an economist in the Canadian federal government (Office of the Auditor General); the U.S. Congress (Congressional Budget Office); and local government in the United Kingdom (Greater London Council). Dr. Lewis is internationally recognized for his research and applied work in cost-benefit analysis; social policy, particularly in relation to people with disabilities; and public infrastructure economics and finance.

Attendance at this event is by invitation only. Subscribers to the CSLS Publication Subscription Program are invited to attend. For more information on this program please visit www.csls.ca/subscription.asp.

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