Methods for estimating benefits

Crawford School of Public Policy
Methods for estimating benefits

Event details

Executive Education

Date & time

Monday 23 November 2020 to Friday 27 November 2020


Online and distance


Dr Kaliappa Kalirajan


Isobella Fry
02 6125 5707

This series will develop your skills to confidently undertake a basic benefit-cost analysis on a project or policy, capably review reports prepared by consultants, and prepare regulatory impact statements.

A combination of essential concepts, case studies and practical exercises is used, without the use of mathematics. The series is suitable for both beginners and as a refresher for those with an economics background.

See related course: Introduction to Benefit cost analysis.

This course will run as an online and distance program in 2020. It is tentatively set to run for one week 23-27 November 2020. Specific dates and times, including for multiple live sessions will be confirmed soon. Contact to find out more.

Cost: Before 6 November 2020: $1,195 After 6 November 2020: $1,495 OR $2,195 for enrolment in the Series (saving $195 off the price of purchasing each day separately).

Group discounts available.

Apply now

Course overview Drawing on basic techniques, this course explores different methods of estimating benefits, including in seemingly unquantifiable areas such as the environment. Uncertainty about the future is addressed through the ‘real options’ approach which is particularly relevant to areas such as adaptation to climate change. The course concludes with comparisons of benefit-cost analysis with cost-effectiveness analysis and multi-criteria analysis.

This course is suitable for those who have taken the ‘Introduction to benefit-cost analysis’ course and as a refresher for those with an economics background.

Theoretical underpinnings

  • Willingness to pay, willingness to accept
  • Consumer surplus, producer surplus, social surplus
  • Deadweight loss
  • Economic versus accounting depreciation
  • Primary and secondary markets

Estimated benefits

  • Revealed preference (estimating demand functions, hedonic pricing, avoided cost, travel cost method, intermediate goods method)
  • Stated preference (contingent valuation methods, choice modelling)
  • Distributional issues

Case study: Wider economic impacts in transport analysis

Risk and uncertainty

  • Knightian risk and uncertainty
  • Expected value versus Monte Carlo analysis
  • Sensitivity testing
  • Real options

Alternate approaches to decision-making

  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Multicriteria analysis


A combination of essential concepts, case studies and practical exercises is used, without the use of mathematics. The schedule is subject to alteration to suit participants’ particular interests.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Confidently undertake a basic benefit-cost analysis of a project or policy
  • Competently review reports prepared by consultants
  • Prepare regulatory impact statements

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for both beginners and as a refresher for those with an economics background.Simple mathematics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and area of triangle (0.5 times the base and the height) will be used.

Online training: How it works

This is a real-time, date-specific course, in which you will join live classes, engage and connect with experts, other course participants and the Executive Education team. Here’s how it works:

  • Pre-course live session. This is an opportunity for you to grab a cuppa and join our meet and greet before the course commences.
  • Practice + Study. Set aside up to 2 hours per day – this time commitment will vary depending on how deeply you choose to engage with the material. It is up to you.
  • Course pack. Each participant will receive a carefully curated workbook, which includes everything you need to guide you through the course.
  • Live sessions with presenter. This is a specified date and time for you to come together with the presenter and other participants to consolidate your learning.
  • Post-course. On completion of the course, you will receive your post-course resources for your reference and further learning.

Why choose online training?

  • No time off work – study and practice when you can.
  • Busy schedule? No problem, you can go at your own pace, join just the live classes, and do the course work whenever suits you best. We know that work and family obligations can be overwhelming. Mix and match the schedule to fit your life.
  • No travel. This is a course right at your fingertips. With no travel expenses, this is a very affordable option for high-level training with world-leading experts.
  • Live interaction with world-leading experts. You’ll have direct access to all the best resources and trainers.
  • Working remotely? With the online and distance format, we welcome participants from around the world to join us.


What if I can’t make a live session? No problem, we understand you are busy. Live sessions are recorded and transcribed for you to catch up in your own time.

What if I’m in a different time zone? All advertised course times are scheduled in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) otherwise known as GMT+11. Convert for your time zone here.

What if I am not tech savvy? As long as you have access to a phone or computer, you’ll have no problems. This is a low-tech course designed for everyone. If needed our team is here to help – contact us at

What if I have questions? We would love to hear from you. Contact our team at

Updated:  25 November 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team