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Cost-benefit Analysis and Rates of Return of Development Projects: An International Comparison

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  • Massimo Florio

    (University of Milan, Italy)

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Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 182.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:182

Note: In this paper we analyse data on the rates of return of investment projects sponsored by three international institutions: the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank. The focus of the paper is on the evaluation of the variability of ex-ante economic rates of return, of financial rates of return and ex-post or re-estimated economic rates of return. We propose a framework of analysis of rates of return variations across projects, sectors, financing institutions, of the wedge between economic and financial, and of the gap between ex-ante and ex-post returns. In principle the same framework could be used for comparing rates of return variability of development projects across countries, time of approval or exit, or other relevant sampling criterion. We discover a pattern of variations across sectors. And we find that cost-benefit analysis generates larger variability of rates of return than financial analysis.
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Related research

Keywords: Investment projects; International Institutions; Rates of return; Cost-benefit;

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  1. Isham, Jonathan & Kaufmann,Daniel, 1995. "The forgotten rationale for policy reform : the productivity of investment projects," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1549, The World Bank.
  2. Arnott,Richard & Atkinson,Anthony B. & Arrow,Kenneth & Dr├Ęze,Jacques H. (ed.), 1997. "Public Economics Real Author-Name:Vickrey,William," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521597630, October.
  3. Massimo Florio, 1997. "The economic rate of return of infrastructures and regional policy in the European Union," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 39-64, 03.
  4. Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-96, September.
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