“It is not clear where the idea that cost-benefit analysis is unpopular comes from. There is a rather broad consensus across bipartisan lines that supports using cost-benefit analysis as part of regulatory decision-making. Now cost-benefit analysis may not be applied properly, it may be used as a justification rather than an aid to decisions, and it may produce results that dissatisfy certain constituencies. But none of those are the same as being unpopular.
Now that there is a rough consensus on the need for good analysis (perhaps excepting the author), we can focus on how to do good analysis and to use it as part of making policy decisions.”
“I'm not sure how the conclusion that cost-benefit analysis is "unpopular" is reached. There is a pretty strong bipartisan consensus behind requiring analysis. Now analysis may be done poorly, done after the fact to justify regulatory or deregulatory decisions, or may produce results that particular constituencies don't like. But none of those are the same as being unpopular. If anything cost-benefit analysis has increased dramatically in popularity over the past few decades. Hopefully now we can concentrate on doing it right and using its results properly.”