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Cost-benefit Analysis and Rates of Return of Development Projects: An International Comparison


  • Massimo Florio

    (University of Milan, Italy)


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Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Florio, 2003. "Cost-benefit Analysis and Rates of Return of Development Projects: An International Comparison," Development Working Papers 182, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:182
    Note: In this paper we analyse data on the rates of return of investment projects sponsored by three international institutions: the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank. The focus of the paper is on the evaluation of the variability of ex-ante economic rates of return, of financial rates of return and ex-post or re-estimated economic rates of return. We propose a framework of analysis of rates of return variations across projects, sectors, financing institutions, of the wedge between economic and financial, and of the gap between ex-ante and ex-post returns. In principle the same framework could be used for comparing rates of return variability of development projects across countries, time of approval or exit, or other relevant sampling criterion. We discover a pattern of variations across sectors. And we find that cost-benefit analysis generates larger variability of rates of return than financial analysis.

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Massimo Florio, 1997. "The economic rate of return of infrastructures and regional policy in the European Union," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 39-64, March.
    2. Jonathan Isham & Daniel Kaufmann, 1999. "The Forgotten Rationale for Policy Reform: The Productivity of Investment Projects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 149-184.
    3. Gramlich, Edward M, 1994. "Infrastructure Investment: A Review Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(3), pages 1176-1196, September.
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    More about this item


    Investment projects; International Institutions; Rates of return; Cost-benefit;

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis


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