Principles Of Cost-Benefit Analysis
AbstractThis paper summarizes the procedure for the economic evaluation of government projects and policy reforms. It begins with the social welfare function underpinnings of cost-benefit analysis including the role of distributive weights and the choice of numeraire. It then turns to the conduct of a social cost-benefit analysis using the net present value criterion. This includes the shadow pricing of market products and inputs affected by the project, indirect welfare effects, the opportunity cost of project finance, the evaluation of non-marketed inputs and outputs, and the opportunity cost of risk. Issues involved in selecting a discount rate are discussed, especially those arising from imperfect capital markets. Finally, since many public projects have long-term consequences, the principles that might be used to take account of effects of projects on future generations are outlined. Techniques for accounting for these effects, such as generational accounting, are summarized and its shortcomings highlighted.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in its series Development Economics Working Papers with number 22594.
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: JG Crawford Building #13, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, Australian National University, ACT 0200
Web page: http://www.eaber.org
More information through EDIRC
evaluation; government projects; policy reforms; imperfect capital markets; generational accounting; shadow pricing;
Other versions of this item:
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
- L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
- D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure and Pricing - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Introduction to "Generational Accounting around the World"," NBER Chapters, in: Generational Accounting around the World, pages 1-8 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dan Usher, 1986.
"Tax Evasion and the Marginal Cost of Public Funds,"
637, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Harberger, Arnold C, 1971. "Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 785-97, September.
- Laibson, David, 1997.
"Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
- Sandmo, Agnar, 1998. "Redistribution and the marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 365-382, December.
- Boadway, Robin W, 1978. "Public Investment Decision Rules in a Neo-Classical Growing Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 265-87, June.
- Ahmad,Etisham & Stern,Nicholas, 1991.
"The Theory and Practice of Tax Reform in Developing Countries,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521265638, Fall.
- Ahmad,Etisham & Stern,Nicholas, 1991. "The Theory and Practice of Tax Reform in Developing Countries," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521397421, Fall.
- Wildasin, David E, 1984. "On Public Good Provision with Distortionary Taxation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 227-43, April.
- Boadway, Robin W, 1974. "The Welfare Foundations of Cost-Benefit Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 84(336), pages 926-39, December.
- Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-78, June.
- Barro, Robert J., 1974.
"Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?,"
3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson, 1990. "A Review Article: The Case against the Use of the Sum of Compensating Variations in Cost-Benefit Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 471-94, August.
- Browning, Edgar K, 1976. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 283-98, April.
- Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Willi Leibfritz, 1999. "Generational Accounting around the World," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number auer99-1.
- Chavez, Holcer & Nadolnyak, Denis A. & Saravia, Miguel, 2013. "Socioeconomic and Environmental Impact of Development Interventions: Rice Production at the Gallito Ciego Reservoir in Peru," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 16(1).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shiro Armstrong).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.