Cost-Benefit Analysis: Cases and Materials, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Cases and Materials, 1st Edition

By Euston Quah, Raymond Toh


194 pages | 13 B/W Illus.

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Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is the systematic and analytical process of comparing benefits and costs in evaluating the desirability of a project or programme, often of a social nature and for society as a whole. CBA is fundamental to government decision-making and can be an effective tool for informed decisions on the use of society's scarce resources. This book highlights the main concepts and principles of cost-benefit analysis used in real life cases and actual applications. The book contains rich cases, materials and examples of real life CBA applications with emphasis both on physical and non-physical projects and infrastructure developments in Asia and beyond. The book also discusses techniques frequently used in applied CBA.

The first part of the book introduces the key concepts and principles of CBA before Part Two covers some pertinent issues relating to CBA, such as the recent trend of using behavioural economics and frequently used techniques in applied CBA. Finally, in Part Three, case studies are written up to illustrate how CBA is done, and questions for the readers and students to ponder are raised at the end of each chapter.

The scope of the case studies is more than just physical infrastructures but will include public sector policies and programmes covering a host of social policies as in health, education, social welfare programmes, and the environment. For each case, there will be illustrations of the key concepts and principles of CBA used. Undertakings analyzed include:

  • the Three Gorges Dam in China
  • the 2008 Beijing Olympics
  • the Costs of Global Warming
  • the Jamuna Bridge in Bangladesh

The case studies, many of which have taken or are to take place in developing countries provide a rich background to the principles of the method, and are accompanied by a wealth of explanatory material. As well as being suitable for courses in Cost-Benefit Analysis, Public Finance, Environmental and Health Economics, the book should be of interest to all public policy decision makers and planners.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. History and Scope of CBA 3. Valuation Issues and Methods 4. Benefit Transfers 5. Simple Mathematics of Discounting and Decision Criteria 6. Value of a Statistical Life 7. Estimating the Economic Cost of Air Pollution on Health 8. Economic Cost of Diseases 9. Pair-Wise Comparison: A Novel Approach 10. Behavioral Effects and Cost-Benefit Analysis: Lessons from Behavioral Economics 11. The Three Gorges Dam Project 12. Flue Gas De-Sulphurisation in Mae Moh 13. Hosting International Events – Cases from Beijing Olympics 2008 and Inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore 2010 14. Human Capital Investment Programs in Singapore 15. Qinghai-Tibet Railway – Investment to Improve Travel Time, Promote Tourism and Economic Growth 16. Proliferation of Nuclear Power Plants in Asia – Examples from Malaysia and Singapore 17. Preservation of Amazon Forest 18. Wastewater Management Project in Sri Lanka 19. Nairobi-Thika Highway in Kenya 20. 1997 Southeast Asian Haze 21. H4N1 Avian Flu Immunization Program 22. Fangcheng Port Project, Guangxi China 23. Jamuna Bridge Project in Bangladesh 24. Speed Limit Regulation for Highways in Japan

About the Authors

Euston Quah is Head of Economics at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He is co-author, with E. J. Mishan, of the fifth edition of Cost-Benefit Analysis, also published by Routledge.

Raymond Toh is an Executive in the Corporate Development Division at the Singapore Land Transport Authority.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Decision-Making & Problem Solving
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Infrastructure
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / New Business Enterprises
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics