Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Cognition and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Contents:

Author Info

  • Sunstein, Cass R
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Cost-benefit analysis is often justified on conventional economic grounds, as a way of preventing inefficiency. But it is most plausibly justified on cognitive grounds--as a way of counteracting predictable problems in individual and social cognition. Poor judgments, by individuals and societies, can result from certain heuristics, from informational and reputational cascades, from thinking processes in which benefits are "on screen" but costs are not, from ignoring systemic effects of one-shot interventions, from seeing cases in isolation, and from intense emotional reactions. Cost-benefit analysis serves as a corrective to these cognitive problems. In addition, it is possible to arrive at an incompletely theorized agreement on cost-benefit analysis--an agreement that does not depend on controversial arguments (for example, the view that willingness to pay should be the basis for all social outcomes) and that can attract support from a variety of reasonable views. There is discussion as well of the role of distributional weights and other equitable factors in cost-benefit analysis. The conclusion is that the best argument for cost-benefit analysis is rooted in cognitive psychology and behavioral economics. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.

    Download Info

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Legal Studies.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 1059-1103

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:29:y:2000:i:2:p:1059-1103

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Nicolas Treich, 2008. "The Value of a Statistical Life under Ambiguity Aversion," CESifo Working Paper Series 2291, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Mouter, Niek & Annema, Jan Anne & Wee, Bert van, 2013. "Attitudes towards the role of Cost–Benefit Analysis in the decision-making process for spatial-infrastructure projects: A Dutch case study," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1-14.
    3. Marija Bockarjova & Piet Rietveld & Erik T. Verhoef, 2012. "Composite Valuation of Immaterial Damage in Flooding: Value of Statistical Life, Value of Statistical Evacuation and Value of Statistical Injury," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-047/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Seth D. Baum, 2012. "Value Typology in Cost-Benefit Analysis," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(4), pages 499-524, November.
    5. Marquez, Pablo, 2006. "Cost Benefit Analysis, Value Of A Statistical Life And Culture: Challenges For Risk Regulation," MPRA Paper 2632, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2007.
    6. Marija Bockarjova & Piet Rietveld & Erik T. Verhoef, 2012. "Composite Valuation of Immaterial Damage in Flooding: Value of Statistical Life, Value of Statistical Evacuation and Value of Statistical Injury," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-047/3, Tinbergen Institute.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:29:y:2000:i:2:p:1059-1103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.