The Structural Funds of the European Union
Edited by Massimo Florio
Chapter 7: Cost–Benefit Analysis of Transport Projects in France
7. Cost–beneﬁt analysis of transport projects in France Emile Quinet INTRODUCTION Transport project evaluation through cost–beneﬁt analysis (CBA) has a long lasting tradition in France. It dates back to the early 1960s, when guidelines for road investment choices had been established in order to match the growing needs to the scarce ﬁnancial resources. From that period, CBA has been gradually extended to other transportation modes and embedded in various consultation procedures and public hearings. Signiﬁcant changes appear about every ﬁve years. The usual process is that a commission is charged to study the speciﬁc actual problems and to provide directions of improvement. The recent commissions, hosted by the Comissariat général du Plan,1 took place in 1994 (Comissariat général du Plan, 1994), 2000 (Comissariat général du Plan, 2000) and 2005 (Comissariat général du Plan, 2005). The ﬁrst one gave a new impulse to CBA, relying on the strict principles of economic theory and surplus analysis, after a period where CBA practice was founded on a rather loose use of multicriteria analysis. The second one deﬁned the means to take into account external eﬀects and ﬁxed monetary values for those external eﬀects. The third one paid attention to the discount rate and to risk. These results have been embedded into directives issued by the Ministry of Transport for the evaluation of infrastructure projects of national networks (rail, inland waterways and seaports). The most recent...