EVAL 6970: Cost Analysis for Evaluation


This course in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in evaluation program at Western Michigan University is an advanced graduate seminar designed to provide an overview of cost analysis in evaluation, including concepts and definitions, analytical frameworks, measurement of cost, placing monetary value on program ingredients, analyzing costs, cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-benefit analysis and cost-utility analysis. Cost analysis comprises one component within comprehensive evaluations and asks, in comparison to other alternatives, Is the program worth what it costs? Is it cost-effective? Do the benefits justify the costs of the program? Does the value or utility of the program justify its costs? This course is designed to provide an overview of different cost analysis methods for use in evaluation by examining these and other questions. Students work independently and think critically about cost analysis in evaluation. This course is directed to students who have a sound understanding of the foundations of evaluation.




Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn

Required textbook

Levin, H. M., & McEwan, P. J. (2001). Cost-effectiveness analysis: Methods and applications (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Lecture notes

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Required readings

Herman, P. M., Avery, D. J., Schemp, C. S., & Walsh, M.E. (2009). Are cost-inclusive evaluations worth the effort? Evaluation and Program Planning, 32, ;55–61.

Persaud, N. (2007). Conceptual and practical analysis of costs and benefits: Developing a cost-analysis tool for practical program evaluation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.

Phillips, J. J.(2003). Measuring the return on investment: Key issues and trends. In J. J. Phillips (Ed.), Return on investment in training and performance improvement programs (2nd ed.) (pp. 1-31). Boston, MA: Butterworth Heineman.

Phillips, J. J. (2003). ROI model. In J. J. Phillips (Ed.),Return on investment in training and performance improvement programs (2nd ed.) (pp. 32-57). Boston, MA: Butterworth Heineman.

Rogers, P. J., Stevens, K., & Boymal, J. (2009). Qualitative cost–benefit evaluation of complex, emergent programs. Evaluation and Program Planning, 32, 83–90.

Schroeter, D. C. (2008). Sustainability evaluation checklist. In D. C. Schroeter, Sustainability evaluation: Development and validation of an approach to sustainability evaluation. Saarbrücken, Germany: Südwestdeutscher Verlag für Hochschulschriften.

Yates, B. T. (2009). Cost-inclusive evaluation: A banquet of approaches for including costs, benefits, and cost–effectiveness and cost–benefit analyses in your next evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 32. 52–54.

Yates, B. T. (1998). Formative evaluation of costs, cost-effectiveness, and cost-benefit: Toward cost → procedure → process → outcome analysis. In L. Bickman & D. J. Rog (Eds.), Handbook of applied social research methods (pp. 285-314). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Datasets and supplementary materials

Cost-effectiveness data

Cost-benefit data