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Summer 1 2010 - 94240 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Evaluation & Cost-Benefit Analysis for Global Policy

Instructor(s): Lincove, Jane Arnold
Unique Number: 94240
Day & Time: MTWTh 9:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.216/219
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.


Section Description

Objective: This course provides a theoretical foundation for conducting evaluation of policies and projects in an international context and teaches practical methods for application in the field. Students will learn the theoretical foundation of cost-benefit analysis, including strategies for valuation, discounting, weighting the distribution of costs and benefits, and addressing risk and uncertainty. Students will learn to adapt methods for implementation in real world evaluation under political, time, and budget constraints.

Class Schedule: Class will meet daily from Monday, May 24 to Thursday, May 27 from 9 am to 5 pm. Attendance at all four class sessions is mandatory. A final required meeting will be scheduled in September, based on student schedules.  Instructor permission necessary to enroll.

Grading: Students will complete an independent evaluation project, preferably in conjunction with a summer internship. To get a passing grade, you must complete an independent evaluation project. Because of summer internships, it is expected that students will receive an incomplete for the summer term and grades will be assigned during Fall 2010. The final deadline for all assignments is September 16, 2010. If work is not complete by this deadline, incompletes will be changed to “F”.

  • Attendance and class participation 10%
    All students must attend all four class sessions, complete reading assignments, and participate in class discussion.
  • In-class problem sets 30%
    Problem sets will apply practical concepts discussed in class. There will time in class to work on problem sets in groups.
  • Project proposal 10%
    A one-page proposal including the purpose of the project and identification of data sources.
  • Written project 40%
    5-10 page written report of project objectives, methods, data, results, and recommendations.
  • Project presentation 10%
    Students will present a 15-minute summary of the purpose and results of the project.

1. Brent, Robert J. (2006). Applied Cost-Benefit Analysis, 2nd edition. Edward Elgar Publishing: Massachusetts.
2. Bamberger, Michael, Rugh, Jim, & Mabry, Linda (2006). Real World Evaluation, Sage Publications: California.
3. Zerbe, Richard O. & Allen S. Bellas (2006). A Primer for Benefit-Cost Analysis. Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK.

Prerequisites: Completion with C or better in either PA 393G or PA 393K.