Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Edwin Carnell Lewis
Title:Cost Benefit Analysis of Virginia EFNEP: Calculating Indirect Benefits and Sensitivity Analysis
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Agricultural and Applied Economics
Committee Chair: Mike Ellerbrock
Committee Members:Michael Lambur
George Norton
Lester Myers
Keywords:Nutrition Education, Diet-Related Diseases, Morbidity, Cooperative Extension
Date of defense:July 16, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work immediately worldwide.


The Cooperative Extension System has focused on nutrition education for low-income families for approximately 29 years via the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). In response to the need for a comprehensive economic evaluation of EFNEP, Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) was awarded a grant from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Services, United States Department of Agriculture (CSREES, USDA) to conduct a cost benefit analysis (CBA) of nutrition education programs, with emphasis on EFNEP. Virginia EFNEP served as the pilot program to test the evaluation procedure.

This study is a part of the CBA of Virginia EFNEP. The purpose is to calculate the indirect tangible benefits derived from participation in EFNEP. The indirect tangible benefits are classified as 1) delaying productivity loss due to mortality and 2) avoiding productivity loss due to morbidity. This study also uses sensitivity analysis to evaluate the effects of two critical assumptions pertaining to retention of dietary behaviors and to incidence rate of diseases in the low-income population. Finally, the discount rate is analyzed via sensitivity calculations.

There were two major conclusions drawn from this study. First, the indirect benefits accounted for more than $1 million of the total benefit generate by EFNEP. Second, the sensitivity analyses support the positive outcome (i. e., positive return on every dollar invested) derived from the CBA of Virginia EFNEP.

List of Attached Files


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