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Evaluating Projects in a Dynamic Economy: Some New Envelope Results

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  • Li, Chuan-Zhong

    ()
    (Department of Economics)

  • Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the modern theory of social cost-bene.t analysis in a dynamic economy. The theory emphasizes the role of a comprehensive, forward- looking, dynamic welfare index within the period of the project rather than that of a project.s long-term consequences. However, what constitutes such a welfare index remains controversial in the recent literature. In this paper, we attempt to shed light on the issue by deriving three equivalent cost-bene.t rules for evaluating a small project. In particular, we show that the direct change in net national product (NNP) quali.es as a convenient welfare index without involving any other induced side e¤ects. The project evaluation criterion thus becomes the present discounted value of the direct changes in NNP over the project period. We also illustrate the application of this theory in a few stylized examples.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 613.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 15 Sep 2003
Date of revision: 04 Dec 2006
Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0613

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Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
Phone: 090 - 786 61 42
Fax: 090 - 77 23 02
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Web page: http://www.econ.umu.se/
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Keywords: dynamic cost-bene.t analysis; net national product; project evaluation; welfare index;

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References

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  1. Robin Boadway, 1973. "Cost-Benefit Rules in General Equilibrium," Working Papers 137, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Dasgupta, Partha, 2001. "Valuing Objects and Evaluating Policies in Imperfect Economies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages C1-29, May.
  3. Caputo, Michael R., 1990. "How to do comparative dynamics on the back of an envelope in optimal control theory," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 655-683, October.
  4. Thomas Aronsson & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 1998. "Green Accounting in Imperfect Market Economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 273-287, April.
  5. Dixit, Avinash & Hammond, Peter & Hoel, Michael, 1980. "On Hartwick's Rule for Regular Maximin Paths of Capital Accumulation and Resource Depletion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 551-56, April.
  6. Dreze, Jean & Stern, Nicholas, 1987. "The theory of cost-benefit analysis," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 14, pages 909-989 Elsevier.
  7. Per-Olov Johansson & Karl-Gustaf Löfgren, 1996. "On the interpretation of ‘green’ NNP measures as cost-benefit rules," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(3), pages 243-250, April.
  8. Asheim, Geir B., 2000. "Green national accounting: why and how?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 25-48, February.
  9. Weitzman, Martin L, 2001. " A Contribution to the Theory of Welfare Accounting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(1), pages 1-23, March.
  10. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies," Working Papers 2003.109, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  11. Aronsson, Thomas & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1999. "Welfare equivalent NNP under distributional objectives," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 239-243, May.
  12. Dasgupta, Partha & M Ler, Karl-G Ran, 2000. "Net national product, wealth, and social well-being," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 69-93, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Isacsson, Gunnar, 2009. "Valuing urban accessibility and air quality in Sweden: A regional welfare analysis," Working Paper Series 2009:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2011. "On Envelope Theorems in Economics: Inspired by a Revival of a Forgotten Lecture," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 830, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  3. Chuan-Zhong Li & Gunnar Isacsson, 2012. "Valuing urban accessibility and air quality in Sweden," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 881-898, June.
  4. Li, Chuan-Zhong & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2010. "Dynamic cost-benefit analysis of large projects: The role of capital cost," Working Paper Series 2010:15, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

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