302: Navigating the Complexity of Demonstrating Impact Assessment in Environmental Evaluations


Terell Lasane, EPA, Moderator
Angela Helman, Industrial Economics Inc.
Tracy Dyke-Redmond, Industrial Economics, Inc.
Cynthia Manson, Industrial Economics, Inc.
Andy Rowe, ARCeconomics


Experimental designs are increasingly being raised as the gold standard in environmental evaluations; however, environmental evaluators are seldom able to consistently employ methods that enable definitive causal impact claims. This pressure to reach the gold standard has necessitated evaluators’ employment of diverse approaches that approximate impact estimation.  In this session environmental evaluators discuss use of innovative alternative approaches that allow statistical estimation of impact. One approach employs a comparison of early joiners and late joiners to measure a “dosage effect.” Another discusses a quasi-experimental approach that compares the outcomes of two similarly situated states receiving differential levels of compliance assistance.  A third approach explores theoretical limitations of experimental designs in light of economic principles that render these approaches untenable.  Additionally, feasible and efficacious technique for identifying a counterfactual for comparison to the intervention is presented. These approaches will be discussed in context of relative value of experimental methods versus non-experimental methods.

Presentation Materials

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