SBCA Awards


Introducing the Society Fellows Program 

The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis announces the creation of a Society Fellows Program to recognize people who have made substantial contributions to the theory or practice for benefit-cost analysis. This program enhances the ability of SBCA to recognize outstanding achievements in the field of benefit-cost analysis. While SBCA has had an outstanding achievement award, the new Fellows program enables it to better capture the full set of people leading our field.   

Past winners of SBCA’s outstanding achievement award will be the inaugural group of fellows: James K. Hammitt, Al McGartland, Maureen L. Cropper, Michael Jones-Lee, W. Kip Viscusi, David L. Weimer, Steve Aos and Arnold Harberger. 

The SBCA Board of Directors expects to select approximately four Fellows in each of the next two years and then select up to two Fellows each year thereafter. 

Awardees must have demonstrated a significant contribution to the theory and/or practice of benefit-cost analysis. While not essential, participation in SBCA, SBCA-sponsored events, and publication in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis will be considered to be important aspects of an individual’s contribution. A candidate must be living at the time of nomination. Membership in the Society is not required. 

Any SBCA member may nominate a candidate for Fellow. SBCA looks to make the Fellows group as diverse as possible and welcomes nominations from around the world. 

Nominations should include a vita of the nominee, a two-page nomination letter outlining what contributions the individual has made that warrant the award, and at least one additional letter of support from a second individual. In addition, members of the SBCA Board of Directors may nominate candidates that have not been otherwise nominated. Nominations are to be submitted via email to [email protected] by October 31 each year. 

New Fellows will be announced during the SBCA Annual Meeting. 



Outstanding Dissertation Award

The Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis [SBCA] has established an annual award for the best Ph.D. thesis dealing with the theory and/or practice of benefit-cost analysis. The award is intended to recognize outstanding work by promising new researchers in the field. It is accompanied by a $1,000 cash prize and the winner will be recognized at the SBCA annual meeting. In addition, recipients will be encouraged to submit a paper based on their dissertation to the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis. The paper will undergo the standard journal peer-review process.

The range of topics for candidate dissertations is very broad, i.e., dissertations that would interest the Society's members, including, but not limited to:

Methods Topical Areas
  • Benefit-cost analysis
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Cost analysis
  • Regulatory impact analysis
  • Risk-benefit analysis
  • Applied welfare economic analysis
  • Damage assessments
  • Civil and criminal justice
  • Climate change
  • Education and training
  • Energy, natural resources, and environment
  • Finance and financial markets
  • Food and agriculture
  • Health, health insurance, and health care
  • International trade and development
  • Safety and security
  • Social welfare programs
  • Taxation and government revenue generation
  • Transportation and infrastructure
  • Workforce and workplace


A dissertation will be eligible if it was successfully defended between October 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021, and has not previously been considered for the award. Eligible dissertations must have been accepted by an accredited institution of higher education in any country in fulfillment of a doctoral degree. The degree field is not limited to economics. Dissertations must be written in English.

Submissions will be reviewed by a Selection Committee appointed by the SBCA Board of Directors. Submissions will be evaluated based on the quality of the methodological work (theoretical or empirical), the contributions to the field, the quality of the exposition, and the relevance for policy.

To apply, submit the following package of materials to [email protected]

  • A statement indicating the applicant's name; the date, degree, and institution of the defended dissertation; and a URL from which a pdf of the dissertation submission can be downloaded.
  • A 1,000-word statement from the applicant identifying the relevant portion(s) of the dissertation that should be considered for the award and the applicability of the work given the criteria noted above.
  • A signed nomination letter from the dissertation committee chair or another committee member explaining the dissertation's originality and contribution to the field (pdf file preferred).
  • The applicant's CV (pdf file preferred).

Submissions are due on October 31, 2021, by 5:00 pm Eastern United States time. Applicants will receive an acknowledgment that their submission was received and will be notified of the outcome by early December. 

Award Recipients



Gabriel Englander"Empirical Essays on Natural Resource Exploitation (University of California, Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 2021) 

Dr. Englander’s dissertation examines ways conservation policies can lead to unintended consequences yet also be made to work in challenging circumstances. His methods and findings have important implications for a broad range of regulatory activities and the benefit-cost analyses that inform them. In the first of three essays, Dr. Englander examines Information and Spillovers from Targeting Policy in Peru’s Anchoveta Fishery. Using extensive data and causal econometric methods, he finds that efforts to reduce an important externality in the world’s largest fishery actually makes things worse by telegraphing fish-location information to the fishing boats. His second essay, Property Rights and the Protection of Global Marine Resources (published in Nature Sustainability 2019) finds that the primary institution for governing global marine resource exploitation actually protects fisheries from unauthorized fishing despite substantial enforcement challenges. Finally, this third essay, Armed Conflict Increases Elephant Poaching, documents that the onset of a new conflict near elephant populations significantly increases contemporaneous elephant poaching levels by 12-22 percent. 



Clayton J. Masterman, "An Empirical Analysis of Policy Responses to the Opioid Epidemic," (Vanderbilt University,  2019)

Richard Zerbe Distinguished Service Award

Voluntary organizations like the SBCA are created by, and thrive through, the efforts of individuals. More so than any other person, the SBCA owes its success to the efforts of Richard Zerbe. Not only did he conceive of the value that would be provided to scholars, practitioners, and society from an organization dedicated to promoting the appropriate use of BCA, he also took steps to create it. Working with the Evans School at the University of Washington and aided by the generous support of the MacArthur Foundation, he launched the SBCA with great success. The Board of Directors sought to honor his contributions by creating the Richard Zerbe Distinguished Service Award in 2014 to be awarded as appropriate to individuals who make significant contributions to helping the SBCA further its mission.

Award Recipients



Henrik AnderssonUniversité Toulouse 1 Capitole, and Massimo FlorioUniversità degli Studi di Milano

Professors Andersson and Florio have been instrumental in expanding the Society‘s international standing. They took the lead in going from a vaguely defined idea generated by the SBCA Board, that the Society should increase its role in Europe, to create a thriving European community with strong annual meetings and webinars.  Professor Florio pushed ahead early by having SBCA co-sponsor his summer workshop on Benefit-Cost analysis for several years. Professor Andersson built on the emerging European network and the Society‘s nascent visibility to work with several colleagues to hold the first SBCA European Annual Conference in 2019 (hosted by the Toulouse School of Economics). From those beginnings, the Society has now established a process for holding annual meetings and for holding webinars featuring top experts in the field. Professors Andersson and Florio‘s efforts provide a useful model for expanding the ways the Society can reach out to analysts in the rest of the world. In addition, both served full terms on the Society‘s Board of Directors.



Glenn Blomquist

Former Co-Editor JBCA



Fran Sussman

Former SBCA Board Member



Susan Dudley

SBCA Past President



Richard Belzer

SBCA Past Treasurer/Secretary



Erika Dowd

SBCA Executive Director



Lisa Robinson

SBCA Past President



Scott Farrow

JBCA Founding Editor



Richard Zerbe

SBCA Founder and Past President



Outstanding Achievement Award

In 2016, the SBCA Board of Directors created the Outstanding Achievement Award to be awarded as appropriate to individuals who make significant contributions to the field of benefit-cost analysis. 

Award Recipients



James K. Hammitt, Professor, Harvard University 

Professor Hammitt has applied rigorous quantitative methods to make numerous important contributions in several areas where benefit-cost analysis plays a key role. These include management of long-term environmental issues with important scientific uncertainties, such as global climate change and stratospheric-ozone depletion; evaluation of ancillary benefits and countervailing risks associated with risk-control measures; characterization of social preferences over health and environmental risks using revealed-preference, stated-preference, and health-utility methods; and estimation and application of the value of statistical life measures in a wide array of contexts.

Professor Hammitt is one of the most-cited authors in the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis. He was previously a member of the SBCA Board of Directors and serves as a member of the Journal‘s Editorial Board. 



Al McGartland

Director, National Center for Environmental Economics



Maureen L. Cropper

University of Maryland



Michael Jones-Lee

Newcastle University



W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University



David L. Weimer

University of Wisconsin, Madison



Steve Aos

Assistant Director, Washington State Institute for Public Policy



Arnold Harberger

Distinguished Professor of Economics, Professor Emeritus, UCLA