Discussion Paper

Attributing Benefits to Voluntary Programs in EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery: Challenges and Options

Mar 3, 2011 | James W. Boyd, Cynthia Manson


This paper reviews the economic justification for voluntary environmental programs to derive defensible measures of their positive social outcomes. We consider ideal experimental and statistical designs to detect and attribute benefits. We also explore a set of more practical approaches to benefit attribution that take into account the data gaps and statistical challenges that often make more rigorous approaches infeasible.