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Costs and Benefits of Agricultural Crime Prevention: A Primer for Estimating the Costs and Benefits of the Agricultural Crime Technology Information and Operations Network (ACTION)

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2007
40 pages
Aaron Chalfin; John Roman; Daniel P. Mears; Michelle L. Scott
This policy brief provides an introduction to cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as a means of measuring the effectiveness of California's Agricultural Crime Technology Information and Operations Network (ACTION) and similar initiatives that are designed to counter the theft of agricultural equipment, commodities, and supplies.
The first section describes how CBA--a methodology that compares the costs and benefits of policies and programs in order to assess their economic efficiency--can be used to measure the economic impact of agricultural crime prevention initiatives. CBA has an advantage over other statistical methods in that the results can be used to compare two or more programs that are designed to produce different kinds of outcomes. It can also be used to determine which program design yields the most efficient outcomes. CBA can measure changes that result from new policies and programs, as it determines how the resources used influenced participant outcomes and how those outcomes affected resource use. The description of CBA methodology considers from whose perspective costs and benefits should be counted, which enumeration strategy analysis should be used, and how social costs should be counted. Other issues addressed include what will be counted as a cost and as a benefit, which costs should be included in the analysis, types of costs, which benefits should be counted, and measurement of the benefits from prevented crime. The description of the CBA method is followed by a discussion of the challenges and opportunities in using CBA to evaluate crime prevention programs. The final section describes the specific cost-benefit analysis used with ACTION. 8 tables and 13 references

Date Created: February 25, 2008