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Incommensurability and Monetary Valuation

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  • Jonathan Aldred

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Aldred, 2006. "Incommensurability and Monetary Valuation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 82(2), pages 141-161.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:82:y:2006:i:2:p:141-161
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartkowski, Bartosz, 2017. "Existence value, biodiversity, and the utilitarian dilemma," UFZ Discussion Papers 2/2017, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    2. repec:wfo:wstudy:47015 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:97-104 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Dachary-Bernard, Jeanne, 2007. "La méthode des choix multi-attributs appliquée aux Monts d’Arrée," Cahiers d'Economie et de Sociologie Rurales (CESR), INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), vol. 84.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Fellner, Wolfgang & Spash, Clive L., 2014. "The Illusion of Consumer Sovereignity in Economic and Neoliberal Thought," SRE-Discussion Papers 4092, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    8. Bartkowski, Bartosz & Lienhoop, Nele, 2016. "Beyond rationality, towards reasonableness: Deliberative monetary valuation and Amartya Sen’s approach to rationality," 90th Annual Conference, April 4-6, 2016, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 236292, Agricultural Economics Society.
    9. Jeanne Dachary-Bernard, 2007. "La méthode des choix multi-attributs appliquée aux Monts d’Arrée," Cahiers d'Economie et Sociologie Rurales, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 84, pages 133-166.
    10. 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.
    11. Hattam, Caroline & Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne & Börger, Tobias & Burdon, Daryl & Hadjimichael, Maria & Delaney, Alyne & Atkins, Jonathan P. & Garrard, Samantha & Austen, Melanie C., 2015. "Integrating methods for ecosystem service assessment and valuation: Mixed methods or mixed messages?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 126-138.
    12. repec:eee:ecoser:v:24:y:2017:i:c:p:180-186 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. 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.
    14. Jeanne Dachary-Bernard, 2007. "La méthode des choix multi-attributs appliquée aux Monts d’Arrée," Post-Print hal-01201152, HAL.
    15. 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.
    16. Aldred, Jonathan, 2013. "Justifying precautionary policies: Incommensurability and uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 132-140.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:136-143 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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