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The use of ex post Cost-Benefit Analysis to assess the long-term effects of Major Infrastructure Projects



This paper draws and expands from a recent ex-post evaluation carried out for the European Commission aimed at assessing the long term effects produced by a sample of ten major infrastructures in the Transport and Environment sectors and interpreting the key determinants of the observed performance. This evaluation study offered a unique opportunity to draw conclusions on the value of performing ex-post evaluations and to test an innovative evaluation design combining cost-benefit analysis (CBA) with qualitative assessment and adopting a long-run perspective (30 years), which extends into both the past and the future, and requires a mix of retrospective and prospective analysis. This paper presents the potential of ex-post CBA to assess long term impacts of major infrastructure projects and discusses some methodological and institutional implications related to its use.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Florio & Silvia Vignetti, 2013. "The use of ex post Cost-Benefit Analysis to assess the long-term effects of Major Infrastructure Projects," Working Papers 201302, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:mst:wpaper:201302

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bråthen, Svein & Hervik, Arild, 1997. "Strait crossings and economic development : Developing economic impact assessment by means of ex post analyses," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 193-200, October.
    2. Julie Pellegrin & Emanuela Sirtori, 2012. "Methodologies to assess the impact of infrastructure projects in international development evaluation," Working Papers 201202, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies.
    3. Massimo Florio, 2007. "Introduction: Multi-government Cost–Benefit Analysis, Shadow Prices and Incentives," Chapters, in: Massimo Florio (ed.), Cost–Benefit Analysis and Incentives in Evaluation, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Jenkins, Glenn P, 1997. "Project Analysis and the World Bank," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 38-42, May.
    5. Michela Cella & Massimo Florio, 2009. "Hierarchical contracting in grant decisions: ex-ante and ex-post evaluation in the context of the EURegional Policy," Working Papers 171, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2009.
    6. Massimo FLORIO & Silvia VIGNETTI, 2003. "Cost-benefit analysis of infrastructure projects in an enlarged European Union: an incentive-oriented approach," Departmental Working Papers 2003-13, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    7. Massimo FLORIO, 2006. "Multi-government cost-benefit analysis: shadow prices and incentives," Departmental Working Papers 2006-37, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    8. Robert Bain, 2009. "Error and optimism bias in toll road traffic forecasts," Transportation, Springer, vol. 36(5), pages 469-482, September.
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    More about this item


    Cost-benefit analysis; Ex-post evaluation; Infrastructures;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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