A social cost-benefit analysis of a proposed publicly funded project, or public policy change, may be commissioned by a municipal, state or federal government, by a government aid agency, or by an international. Proponents of a private project which has significant social impacts may also commission an economic analysis of this type. The key economic questions of any social cost-benefit analysis are: do the benefits of the project exceed the costs, no matter how widely costs and benefits are spread? And which group or groups of individuals benefit and which bear the costs? This book addresses these questions with an emphasis on putting the theory into practice.
The book has several unique features: readers are encouraged to develop their own skills by applying the tools and techniques of cost-benefit analysis to case studies including a project which is developed through the book; the use of spreadsheets is emphasised which is invaluable in allowing readers to test variables and cross-check the accuracy of their economic appraisal; and a dedicated chapter provides guidance on writing up a report which completes the analysis. An appendix lists additional case studies which can be developed in class or as additional projects. Each chapter contains exercises and suggestions for further reading.
This book is an ideal text for a course on cost-benefit analysis where the emphasis is on practical applications and teaching students to conduct their own analysis.
The book's companion website can be found at: http://uq.edu.au/economics/sites/bca/.
Table of Contents
1. Cost-Benefit Analysis: Introduction and Overview 2. Project Appraisal – Principles 3. Project Appraisal – Decision-Rules 4. Private Cost-Benefit Analysis – Financial Appraisal 5. Cost-Benefit Analysis and Economic Efficiency 6. The Distribution of Project Net Benefits 7. Consumer and Producer Surplus in Cost-Benefit Analysis 8. Non-Market Valuation 9. Uncertainty, Information and Risk 10. Valuing Traded and Non-traded Goods in Cost-Benefit Analysis 11. Appraisal of the Distribution of Project Benefits and Costs 12. Economic Impact Analysis 13. Writing the Cost-Benefit Analysis Report
Harry Campbell is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at The University of Queensland, Australia.
Richard Brown is an Associate Professor of Economics at The University of Queensland, Australia.