What We Do

Research and analysis

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

CSE houses a top-notch team of researchers with a diverse background in a number of disciplines at the forefront of thinking about the new economy. We specialize in benefit-cost analysis, net public benefits analysis, non-market valuation, regional modeling, ecological footprints and sustainability analysis. Our research projects are grouped into four core initiatives, including:
  • Net public benefits - Typically, both public and private decision makers lack all the information necessary for determining whether or not a proposed program, policy, or project is in the public interest. Our economists help expose the true costs of these decisions on the public as well as benefits that may be important but are difficult to quantify through standard economic analysis techniques. Our expertise includes non-market valuation, benefit-cost analysis, regional modeling, and other techniques needed to provide a more complete picture of overall economic impact.
  • r-a-beyondfossilfuelsClimate economics - By any account, the economic costs of climate change are expected to be staggering. One recent global assessment that added the specter of a decade long pulse of methane from the melting Arctic to standard climate impacts models found that net costs of climate change could range from $119 to $458 trillion depending upon what emissions scenario unfolds. Our analysts address the economics of climate change in a number of ways. We help evaluate the true costs of additional fossil fuel development. We estimate climate change costs on both market and nonmarket dimensions of economic well-being. And we help governments and communities identify cost-effective adaptation options.
  • Green vs. gray analysis - Investments in green infrastructure solutions like wetlands often provide economically superior ways to achieve environmental quality outcomes than conventional investments in “gray” infrastructure like new wastewater treatment plants. To help investigate the financial and economic tradeoffs, CSE helped pioneer “Green vs. Gray Analysis (GGA).” GGA builds on standard public investment analysis to help decision makers identify the least cost options for mitigating disaster risk, achieving regulatory targets, or maximizing net public benefits of public infrastructure. CSE is assisting a growing number of municipal water providers, land managers, and businesses quantify the bottom line benefits of restoring wetlands, forests, rivers and coastal ecosystems as an alternative to expensive technological solutions to their infrastructure needs.
  • Sustainability - An increasing number of nations, communities, academic institutions and businesses are committed to the overall idea of environmental, economic, and social sustainability. CSE helps define and measure sustainability with precision using state of the art metrics and techniques. We help identify initiatives that foster sustainability as well as practices that erode natural, human, built, and social capital over time.