Americorps*USA Benefit-Cost Study

HEHS-95-255R: Published: Sep 7, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 7, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided an overview of the benefit-cost study on three AmeriCorps USA programs, focusing on: (1) how the study's specific methodology compares with that of other benefit-cost analyses; and (2) the study's conclusions. GAO noted that: (1) the goal of the benefit-cost study was to calculate the ratio of social benefits to social costs; (2) the study summed three types of benefits derived from the AmeriCorps USA programs, including participant benefits, societal benefits, and net donor benefits; (3) the study failed to recognize the costs associated with raising tax revenues to pay for new government spending programs; (4) the benefit-cost ratios did not incorporate certain unquantifiable benefits that would raise the reported ratios; (5) increasing the programs' cost by 25 percent would diminish the benefit-cost ratio; and (6) the ratios should be compared with those of other programs performing similar services to see whether AmeriCorps USA is a more efficient program.

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