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How (not) to Lie with Benefit-Cost Analysis


  • Scott Farrow

    () (UMBC)


Benefit-cost analysis is seen by some as a controversial activity in which the analyst can significantly bias the results. This note highlights some of the ways that analysts can "lie" in a benefit-cost analysis but more importantly, provides guidance on how not to lie and how to better inform public decisionmakers.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Farrow, 2013. "How (not) to Lie with Benefit-Cost Analysis," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 13-04, UMBC Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:umb:econwp:1304

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scott O. Farrow & Richard Zerbe, Jr. (ed.), 2013. "Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 15126.
    2. Richard O. Zerbe & Tyler Blake Davis & Nancy Garland & Tyler Scott, 2013. "Conclusion: principles and standards for benefit–cost analysis," Chapters,in: Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis, chapter 11, pages 364-443 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Scott Farrow & W. Kip Viscusi, 2013. "Towards principles and standards for the benefit–cost analysis of safety," Chapters,in: Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis, chapter 5, pages 172-193 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    More about this item


    benefit; cost; welfare.;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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