Benefit-cost analysis (BCA) and related economic evaluation methods (cost analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis) have increasingly been applied to prevention and intervention programs for youth and young adults to assess their costs as well as the gains that may be anticipated from investing in these programs. This work reflects in part the growing prominence of evidence-based programs, policies, and practices as well as evidence-informed decision making. The papers included in this special issue represent a range of topics and issues, including the need for accurate and comprehensive assessment of program costs, high-quality BCAs of prevention and intervention programs, increasing recognition of the importance of monetizing noncognitive outcomes, and the role of BCA in pay for success financing arrangements. This introduction (a) describes the evidence-based context in which this work plays a role, (b) summarizes the practical and theoretical contributions of the papers, and (c) identifies the common themes.
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