Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis

Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis

Edited by Scott O. Farrow and Richard Zerbe, Jr.

Benefit–cost analysis informs which policies or programs most benefit society when implemented by governments and institutions around the world. This volume brings together leading researchers and practitioners to recommend strategies and standards to improve the consistency and credibility of such analyses, assisting analysts of all types in achieving a greater uniformity of practice.

Chapter 11: Conclusion: principles and standards for benefit–cost analysis

Richard O. Zerbe Jr., Tyler Blake Davis, Nancy Garland and Tyler Scott

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics, valuation

Extract

This chapter is taken from a report for the MacArthur Foundation by the Center for Benefit–Cost Analysis entitled “Towards Principles and Standards in the Use of Benefit–Cost Analysis” (2010). The current chapter differs from the earlier one in the omission of certain historical material, some of which appears in the introduction of this volume, and the addition of small refinements. This chapter draws years of scholarship and work on benefit–cost analysis into a single document intended as a starting point to establish principles and standards for benefit–cost analysis in government and non-profit decision-making, with a particular emphasis on social programs. The responsibility for this chapter, including errors, mistakes, and choice of standards lies with the senior author and not with the student research assistants, authors of white papers, or the scientific committee members who helped with this chapter. The Principles and Standards project commissioned white papers on various subjects from leading experts and promising younger scholars in specific fields of applied benefit–cost analysis. Each of these scholars was commissioned because of his or her experience and work in the field. The topics and commissions of these papers are as shown in Table 11.1.

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