Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series
Edited by Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli
Chapter 3: Approaches to cost-benefit analysis
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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