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Is Cost–Benefit Analysis Anomaly-Proof?

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  • Nick Hanley

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  • Jason Shogren

Abstract

In this paper we examine whether cost–benefit analysis is anomaly-susceptible or anomaly-proof. To do this, we address four questions. These are, which anomalies, or problems seem most troublesome for CBA? What coping strategies does the analyst adopt to address these problems? Do these adaptation strategies create new problems? And finally, does adopting these strategies invalidate the results of CBA, or reduce the power of its advice? The anomalies we consider are (i) the observed differences between willingness to pay and willingness to accept compensation measures of value; (ii) valuation given information limits, preference uncertainty and preference construction; (iii) hypothetical market bias; (iv) risk perceptions; and (v) risk and preference reversals. We focus our discussion on the estimation of non-market environmental benefits and costs. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Nick Hanley & Jason Shogren, 2005. "Is Cost–Benefit Analysis Anomaly-Proof?," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 13-24, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:32:y:2005:i:1:p:13-24
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-005-6026-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shogren, Jason F., 2006. "Experimental Methods and Valuation," Handbook of Environmental Economics,in: K. G. Mäler & J. R. Vincent (ed.), Handbook of Environmental Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 969-1027 Elsevier.
    2. Huffman, Wallace E. & Shogren, Jason F. & Rousu, Matthew C. & Tegene, Abebayehu, 2003. "Consumer Willingness to Pay for Genetically Modified Food Labels in a Market with Diverse Information: Evidence from Experimental Auctions," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 28(03), December.
    3. Cherry, Todd L. & Crocker, Thomas D. & Shogren, Jason F., 2003. "Rationality spillovers," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 63-84, January.
    4. Cherry, Todd L. & Shogren, Jason F., 2007. "Rationality crossovers," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 261-277, April.
    5. Nick Hanley & Jorunn Grande, & Begoña Álvarez-Farizo & Carol Salt & Mike Wilson, "undated". "Risk perceptions, risk-reducing behaviour and willingness to pay: radioactive contamination in food following a nuclear accident," Working Papers 2001_4, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    6. Richard Carson & Theodore Groves, 2007. "Incentive and informational properties of preference questions," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 181-210, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Menzel, Susanne, 2013. "Are emotions to blame? — The impact of non-analytical information processing on decision-making and implications for fostering sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 71-78.
    2. Gunawardena, U.A.D. Prasanthi, 2010. "Inequalities and externalities of power sector: A case of Broadlands hydropower project in Sri Lanka," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 726-734, February.
    3. Elisabeth Gsottbauer & Jeroen Bergh, 2011. "Environmental Policy Theory Given Bounded Rationality and Other-regarding Preferences," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(2), pages 263-304, June.
    4. Henrik Andersson & Mikael Svensson, 2008. "Cognitive ability and scale bias in the contingent valuation method," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(4), pages 481-495, April.
    5. Colombo, Sergio & Hanley, Nicholas & Tinch, Dugald, 2010. "Differences between Decision and Experienced Utility: An Investigation using the Choice Experiment method," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-13, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    6. Gowdy, John M., 2007. "Toward an experimental foundation for benefit-cost analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 649-655, September.
    7. R. Turner, 2007. "Limits to CBA in UK and European environmental policy: retrospects and future prospects," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 37(1), pages 253-269, May.
    8. Schläpfer, Felix & Schmitt, Marcel & Roschewitz, Anna, 2008. "Competitive politics, simplified heuristics, and preferences for public goods," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 574-589, April.
    9. Lisa A. Robinson & James K. Hammitt, 2013. "Behavioral economics and the conduct of benefit–cost analysis: towards principles and standards," Chapters,in: Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis, chapter 10, pages 317-363 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Jason Shogren & Gregory Parkhurst & Prasenjit Banerjee, 2010. "Two Cheers and a Qualm for Behavioral Environmental Economics," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 46(2), pages 235-247, June.
    11. Venkatachalam, L., 2008. "Behavioral economics for environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 640-645, November.
    12. Lo, Alex Y. & Spash, Clive L., 2011. "Articulation of Plural Values in Deliberative Monetary Valuation: Beyond Preference Economisation and Moralisation," MPRA Paper 30002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Helen Scarborough & Jeff Bennett, 2012. "Cost–Benefit Analysis and Distributional Preferences," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14376.
    14. Watson, Verity & Ryan, Mandy, 2007. "Exploring preference anomalies in double bounded contingent valuation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 463-482, May.
    15. Søren Olsen & Thomas Lundhede & Jette Jacobsen & Bo Thorsen, 2011. "Tough and Easy Choices: Testing the Influence of Utility Difference on Stated Certainty-in-Choice in Choice Experiments," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(4), pages 491-510, August.
    16. Holstein, Fredrik, 2006. "The Landscape of landscape values," Department of Economics publications 1100, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    17. Holstein, Fredrik, 2009. "Environmental values - what’s the point?," Department of Economics publications 2205, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics.
    18. Schlapfer, Felix & Schmitt, Marcel, 2007. "Anchors, endorsements, and preferences: A field experiment," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 229-243, September.
    19. Ladenburg, Jacob & Olsen, Søren Bøye, 2008. "Gender-specific starting point bias in choice experiments: Evidence from an empirical study," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 275-285, November.
    20. Luchini, Stéphane & Watson, Verity, 2013. "Uncertainty and framing in a valuation task," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 204-214.
    21. repec:kap:enreec:v:67:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-016-0029-z is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Lo, Alex Y., 2013. "Agreeing to pay under value disagreement: Reconceptualizing preference transformation in terms of pluralism with evidence from small-group deliberations on climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 84-94.

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