Edited by Robert J. Brent
The origin of this book was an invitation from Edward Elgar Publishing to construct a handbook on cost–benefit analysis (CBA) that would be a starting-point for those working on a PhD in this area. As someone who has spent his entire professional career writing, researching and advocating the use of CBA, and someone, in fact, whose own PhD was in this field, this was an invitation that was easy to accept. So this handbook provides an overview of the key areas of current research interest in the field of CBA and is designed as a starting-point for those interested in undertaking advanced research work. The following guidelines were suggested to all potential contributors: choose an aspect of your subject area that you consider to be interesting and important to which you feel you have something that you want to add; identify the main policy choices and their impacts; address how the impacts have been, or could be, quantified in monetary terms; if specific impacts are hard to measure in monetary terms identify what types of study would inform the valuation process; choose whatever theoretical model or framework that you consider is the most appropriate for your purposes; leave it to the editor to relate your analysis to the general CBA field and to other contributions in the volume. The end result, I am happy to report, was that not only did a very distinguished set of economists agree to contribute to the handbook, they also very much adhered to...