Assessing the Benefits of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Regulatory Actions to Reduce Terrorism Risks

by Victoria A. Greenfield, Henry H. Willis, Tom LaTourrette

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Federal agencies, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a key component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are required to evaluate the benefits, costs, and other impacts of major regulations prior to promulgation. For regulations intended to confer benefits under circumstances of extreme uncertainty, such as commonly arise in the context of homeland security, this requirement has proven especially challenging. This document distills and synthesizes the proceedings of a workshop in which experts in the field of regulatory analysis and terrorism risk examined alternative approaches for estimating the benefits of regulations designed to reduce the risks of terrorist attacks in the United States. Several recommendations for improving the benefit-cost analysis of terrorism security regulations emerged from the workshop. Those recommendations pertain mostly to qualitative modeling, quantitative modeling, and data collection, but also address cross-cutting issues, such as transparency.

Table of Contents

  • Section One

    Introduction

  • Section Two

    Emerging Ideas and Recurring Themes

  • Section Three

    Points of Contention

  • Section Four

    Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    Workshop Participants

  • Appendix B

    Workshop Agenda

  • Appendix C

    Invited Presentations from Workshop Participants

This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Industrial Economics, Inc., and was conducted within the RAND Homeland Security and Defense Center, a joint center of the RAND National Security Research Division and RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment.

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