Table of Contents

Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment

Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series

Edited by Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli

This comparative Handbook provides a pioneering and comprehensive account of regulatory impact assessment – the main instrument used by governments and regulators to appraise the likely effects of their policy proposals. Renowned international scholars and practitioners describe the substance of impact assessment, situating it in its proper theoretical traditions and scrutinizing its usage across countries, policy sectors, and policy instruments. The Handbook of Regulatory Impact Assessment will undoubtedly be of great value to practitioners and also scholars with its wealth of detail and lessons to be learned.

Chapter 3: Approaches to cost-benefit analysis

Jason A. Schwartz

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance


What is the purpose of cost-benefit analysis in the context of impact assessment? What are the basic methodological steps for conducting cost-benefit analysis? What are the limitations and critiques of this methodology? This chapter demonstrates that form may follow function, and the methodology may change slightly depending on the intended role for cost-benefit analysis. Different ways of implementing cost-benefit analysis can be seen in practice and may be normatively desirable given the competing goals of cost-benefit requirements, which range from maximizing social welfare to enhancing democratic participation or political accountability in the rulemaking process.

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