The development and application of economic valuation techniques and their use in environmental policy - A survey
This paper is concerned with the issue of how to introduce monetary valuation into public decision-making. This issue is closely related to introducing rational procedures into public decision-making (Pearce, 2001). All public decision-making involves choice. To economists, rational choice means making the 'best' use of available resources, i.e. choose that option that has the lowest opportunity cost or the lowest value to be sacrificed. Costs and benefits of any project should therefore be weighed as well as compared to cost and benefits of alternative projects. This implies that all impacts of these projects need to be expressed in the same unit to make comparison possible. Money seems to be the most obvious numéraire. We discuss some of the most popular economic valuation techniques and their potential role in public decision-making. Due to the high cost and time that is needed to perform original valuation studies and the limited knowledge of decision-makers with these techniques, we recommend that the Flemish Administration primarily invests in performing high-quality transfer studies.
|Date of creation:||May 2003|
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