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An economic evaluation of the Baldrige National Quality Program

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All federal programs are accountable for their use of public funds. This paper presents conservative estimates of the net social benefits associated with the Baldrige National Quality Award Program, established within the National Institute of Standards and Technology in 1987. On the basis of survey data from members of the American Society for Quality, we estimate cost savings benefits to members, extrapolate those benefits to the economy as a whole, and compare the benefits to the social costs associated with the Program. Our estimation method implies that the ratio of economy-wide benefits to social costs probably exceeds 207:1, supporting the hypothesis that the public investments in quality-standards infrastructure are worthwhile.

Keywords: Evaluation methods; Public program evaluation; Social benefits and costs

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1043859042000332204

Affiliations: 1: Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, 27402, USA 2: Department of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, 03755, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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