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Incommensurability and Monetary Valuation

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  • Jonathan Aldred
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    Abstract

    At the very heart of environmental cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is the claim that benefits and costs can be expressed in terms of money and hence made comparable. In particular, CBA puts all benefits and costs on a cardinal, monetary scale: it assumes monetary commensurability. A significant literature in ethics and political philosophy has arisen which doubts this assumption, but has so far had little impact on the theory or practice of CBA. In light of this, the paper assesses the defense of monetary commensurability offered by cost-benefit analysts and the wider economics literature.

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    File URL: http://le.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/82/2/141
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

    Volume (Year): 82 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 141-161

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:82:y:2006:i:2:p:141-161

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    Web page: http://le.uwpress.org/

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    Cited by:
    1. Lucia Reisch & Clive L Spash & Sabine Bietz, 2008. "Sustainable Consumption and Mass Communication: A German Experiment," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2008-12, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
    2. Julien Milanesi, 2010. "Measuring demand for sanitation in developing countries: A new theoretical and methodological framework for contingent valuation surveys," Post-Print hal-00633288, HAL.
    3. Vatn, Arild, 2009. "Cooperative behavior and institutions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 188-196, January.
    4. Wolfgang Fellner & Clive L. Spash, 2014. "The Illusion of Consumer Sovereignity in Economic and Neoliberal Thought," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2014_02, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    5. Clive L Spash & Heinz Schandl, 2009. "Growth, the Environment and Keynes: Reflections on Two Heterodox Schools of Thought," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-01, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
    6. Spash, Clive L., 2007. "Deliberative monetary valuation (DMV): Issues in combining economic and political processes to value environmental change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 690-699, September.
    7. Anna Dimitrova & Katarina Hollan & Daphne Laster & Andreas Reinstaller & Margit Schratzenstaller & Ewald Walterskirchen & Teresa Weiss, 2013. "Literature review on fundamental concepts and definitions, objectives and policy goals as well as instruments relevant for socio-ecological transition," WWWforEurope Working Papers series 40, WWWforEurope.
    8. Aldred, Jonathan, 2013. "Justifying precautionary policies: Incommensurability and uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 132-140.
    9. Lázaro-Touza, Lara & Atkinson, Giles, 2013. "Nature, roads or hospitals? An empirical evaluation of ‘sustainable development preferences’," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 63-72.

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