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WH FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Initiative to Advance the Frontiers of Benefit-Cost Analysis and Strengthen Government Decision Making [press release]

For government to make the best decisions, it must use analysis that keeps pace with advancements in science and economics. Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is releasing the first annual report from the Frontiers of Benefit-Cost Analysis initiative, a new, whole-of-government effort to improve policymaking by catalyzing collaboration between the Federal government and the research community. By strengthening the exchange of knowledge between Federal analysts and the research community, we can create better analytical tools, better understand and eliminate gaps in analysis, and, as a result, improve policymaking and returns to the American people. The report identifies specific areas where further research could significantly benefit government decision making by helping agencies improve analysis of the effects of their actions.

The report describes how outside researchers can engage with government agencies so that agencies can benefit from the depth of knowledge possessed by our Nation’s researchers and experts. Early engagement can help to point analysis in the right direction. The Frontiers initiative is introducing new ways for the research community to engage with agencies. For example, researchers can now utilize a new, targeted email address to share this kind of information: Frontiers@omb.eop.gov. The report also provides guidance to researchers on using and engaging on agency regulatory agendas.

The annual Frontiers report is just the first step in promoting engagement with researchers and experts. Future plans include seminars, roundtables, and workshops to highlight the latest advances from the research community.

The Frontiers initiative and report complement the broad-based effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to modernize and improve regulatory review. Last month, the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs finalized revisions to Circular A-4, and Circular A-94, government-wide guidance on regulatory analysis and project analysis, respectively. These updates will help bring analyses up-to-date with the modern best practices in economics and multidisciplinary research. The Frontiers initiative will build upon these policy updates to help ensure that Federal agencies have access to the best available analytical tools and knowledge, with applications to wildfires and extreme weather, public benefit programs, non-fatal health effects, ecosystem services, and information and transparency.

The report identifies a range of effects where better analysis would meaningfully improve government decision making, including: wildfires and extreme weather; the effects of public benefit programs; evaluation of non-fatal health effects; the effects on ecosystem services; and the value of information and transparency.  . . .

Today’s report is the first step in focusing future research where it can have the most significant impact on government decision making. More comprehensive research targeted to fill data gaps will lead to more informed and responsive action and policies that improve Americans’ well-being. The Administration will continue to explore new frontiers to help agencies and the broader research community collaborate on improving the quantification and monetization of important effects of government policies—all with the goal of ensuring more transparent and effective Federal decisions.

Report: Advancing the Frontiers of Benefit Cost Analysis: Federal Priorities and Directions for Future Research https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2023/12/14/advancing-the-frontiers-of-benefit-cost-analysis-federal-priorities-and-directions-for-future-research/
Press release: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/briefing-room/2023/12/14/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-new-initiative-to-advance-the-frontiers-of-benefit-cost-analysis-and-strengthen-government-decision-making/

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