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In an ESG context, the level of outcome that would have occurred without an intervention. What would have happened anyway? Deadweight can be a deduction from measured outcomes (removing a slice of the outcome pie) or if an initiative prevented a harm, it can be an addition to your measured outcome level. Deadweight is normally represented as a percentage.

For example, 75 per cent of graduates in an employability program might secure a job after six months. However the national rate of graduates securing employment over that period might be 50 per cent. The background, or benchmarked rate will need to be subtracted from the outcomes measured.


Deadweight Loss (Corporate Finance Institute)