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Cost benefit analysis vs. referenda

Author

Listed:
  • Martin J. Osborne
  • Matthew A. Turner

Abstract

We consider a planner who chooses between two possible public policies and ask whether a referendum or a cost benefit analysis leads to higher welfare. We find that a referendum leads to higher welfare than a cost benefit analyses in "common value" environments. Cost benefit analysis is better in "private value" environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin J. Osborne & Matthew A. Turner, 2007. "Cost benefit analysis vs. referenda," Working Papers tecipa-286, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-286
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cost benefit analysis; elections; referenda; project evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects

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