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Cost–Benefit Analysis

Course Overview

This 1-day course provides basic, but comprehensive, information for those who prepare, review, or simply want to understand the regulatory analyses that provide an economic perspective on Federal regulations. All staff members who work at agencies that issue regulations can benefit from this course. Cost–benefit analysis, a component of a regulatory analysis, applies to all decision-making scenarios.

This course is presented by Warren J. Prunella, former Chief Economist at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Mr. Prunella has conducted hundreds of regulatory analyses for executive branch and independent agencies. The Washington Post described him as “a pioneer in cost–benefit analysis.”

Meet Your Instructor

Warren Prunella

Warren J. Prunella

Warren Prunella, described by The Washington Post as “a pioneer in cost–benefit analysis” (“A Pioneer in Cost–Benefit Analysis Calls It a Career,” May 6, 2003) has extensive experience conducting and directing regulatory analyses and cost–benefit analyses for Federal agencies, including executive branch and independent commissions. He has taught economics courses at several colleges and universities, authored articles on the subject of regulatory analyses, participated in panels, and delivered papers at economic conferences.

As Senior Executive and Chief Economist of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from 1987 to 2003, he managed and directed the agency’s regulatory analysis program. He supported the agency’s budget, planning, and evaluation activities, as well as the compliance and enforcement program, litigation, and responding to congressional and executive office inquiries. He also analyzed legislative proposals pertaining to regulatory issues. Mr. Prunella’s accomplishments at CPSC include:

  • Developing the cost–benefit methodologies in effect at CPSC.
  • Developing CPSC’s Injury Cost Model that provides a major input to estimating the societal costs of consumer product accidents and the potential benefits of remedial actions.
  • Implementing techniques for combining consumer product exposure surveys with hazard data to assess risk associated with products.
  • Preparing or directing hundreds of market profiles and regulatory and cost–benefit analyses to support agency rulemaking activities.
  • Serving as CPSC’s representative to the Regulatory Working Group, where he worked with staff from the Council of Economic Advisers, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and other agencies addressing issues related to cost–benefit analysis and risk assessment procedures.

He also served as CPSC Liaison to the Council on Environmental Quality.

As Vice President at Econometrica, Inc., Mr. Prunella provided analytical and policy support for regulatory analyses at the following:

  • Office of the Secretary of Transportation (airline passenger protection regulations).
  • Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (a large variety of hazardous materials rules for all modes of transportation).
  • Office of Pipeline Safety (rules covering all aspects of gas and hazardous liquid pipeline transmission and distribution).
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (rules for trucks, buses, commercial drivers).


Course Objectives

This course covers the following topics:

  • Rulemaking Process
  • Circular A-4 U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance
  • Decision-Making Methods
  • Concept of Present Value
  • Net Benefits vs. Cost–Benefit Ratios
  • Issues in Cost–Benefit Analysis
  • Meeting Other Requirements
  • Controversies Related to Cost–Benefit Analysis
  • Use of contractors
  • Role of OMB/Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

Tuition & Newsletter


Can I get credit for my course?

Yes, all Econometrica regulatory classes are eligible for satisfying Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.

Can I take the course online?

We are in the process of creating the online courses.

Where are your courses located?

All of our courses are held at our offices at 7475 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 1000, Bethesda, MD 20814. Please remember to bring your identification to get through security.

Is lunch included in the course?

No, lunch is on your own. Econometrica is located in the heart of downtown Bethesda, surrounded by many good places to eat.

What is your refund policy?

We offer full refunds if notification is given at least 72 hours in advance of the course starting date.

Do you offer group discounts?

We offer a 10-percent discount to groups of two or more participants.

How do I register for courses?

Register for all of our courses on Eventbrite. Subscribe to our newsletter for information about upcoming courses.

Have a question that hasn't been answered? Feel free to get in touch with us and we will get back to you shortly. Thank you.

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