Lisa Robinson
Research Scientist

Lisa Robinson

Senior Research Scientist

Center for Health Decision Science

Other Positions

Deputy Director, Center for Health Decision Science

Center for Health Decision Science

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Lisa A. Robinson's research and teaching focus on the conduct of benefit-cost analysis, particularly for policies with outcomes that cannot be fully valued using market measures. She has led numerous assessments of the costs, benefits, and other impacts of environmental, health, and safety policies and regulations, developed related methods, and drafted guidance documents. She co-edited the National Academies book, "Valuing Health for Regulatory Cost-Effectiveness Analysis," led the creation of guidelines for benefit-cost analysis for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and developed approaches for government agencies and others to estimate the value of mortality risk reductions (the value per statistical life, VSL). She has explored the implications of behavioral economics and happiness research for benefit-cost analysis, approaches for assessing impacts on employment, and issues related to assessing the distribution of costs and benefits across advantaged and disadvantaged groups. She applies these methods in high-, middle-, and low-income settings, including developing guidelines for conducting benefit-cost analysis in global health and conducting research related to cost-effectiveness thresholds. She has also explored responses to various types of hazard warnings.

Ms. Robinson is currently Deputy Director of the Center for Health Decision Science and affiliated with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. She was previously a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government as well as an Affiliate Fellow of its Regulatory Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. She is a past President of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis and served as a Councilor of the Society for Risk Analysis as well as Chair of its Economics and Benefits Analysis Specialty Group. She is on the Editorial Boards of Risk Analysis and the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis.

For related publications, see:

BA, 1979, Political Science/International Relations
Carleton College, Northfield MN

MPP, 1982, Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge MA

Richard J. Burk Outstanding Service Award, Society for Risk Analysis
Society for Risk Analysis

Richard O. Zerbe Distinguished Service Award, Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis
Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis

Fellow, Society for Risk Analysis
Society for Risk Analysis

Best Symposium, Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis
Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis



Warning labels on consumer products not effective

Lisa Robinson, senior research scientist at the Center for Health Decision Science and the Center for Risk Analysis at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Richard Zeckhauser, the Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy, Harvard…