Costs and benefits through bureaucratic lenses: Example of a highway project
This article characterizes the perceptions of government bureaucrats about cost-benefit analysis (CBA). The observations arise after working with government officials on various projects and leading many executive seminars for government employees over the last decade on the principles and practice of CBA. Government employees tend to adopt one of three conceptual lenses: Guardians, Spenders, and Analysts. These perspectives differ sharply from one another, resulting in completely different meanings to the words benefits and costs. The orientation of Guardians is to “revenue-expenditure” analysis, while Spenders are oriented to “constituency-support” analysis. Analysts are oriented to standard CBA. The differences in perspectives are illustrated using an ex ante CBA of a proposed toll highway project.
Volume (Year): 12 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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