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Basic Concepts and Common Valuation Errors in Cost-Benefit Analysis


  • Theodore Panayotou

    () (International Environment Program, Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University)


The society has limited resources to meet several objectives such as economic growth, poverty alleviation and environmental protection. These objectives compete for resources and may conflict with each other. For example, economic growth may increase environmental degradation and environmental regulation may constrain growth. Therefore, every effort must be made to reconcile and synergize these diverse social objectives and to prioritize them as to allocate the limited resources among them in the most efficient way. Environmental economics provides us with the analytical tools to reconcile environmental protection with economic growth and other social objectives, and to protect and improve the environment without wasting scarce resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore Panayotou, 1997. "Basic Concepts and Common Valuation Errors in Cost-Benefit Analysis," EEPSEA Special and Technical Paper sp199701t1, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Jan 1997.
  • Handle: RePEc:eep:tpaper:sp199701t1

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