Cost-Benefit Analysis by E. J. Mishan

By E. J. Mishan

Should Malaysia construct a brand new metal mill, or long island urban an city highway? may still greater schooling extend, or water offers be more desirable? those are general inquiries to which cost-benefit research, the main monetary toolВ for reading difficulties of social selection can give a contribution to,В as good as delivering an invaluable motor vehicle for realizing the sensible worth of welfare economics. This important textВ covers the most difficulties that come up in a regular cost-benefit exercise.

Cost-benefit research is used in all places, yet its recommendations are fairly trendy in fields the place there's a few type of moral dimension.В For this variation, E.J. Mishan has been joined by way of Euston Quah, to discover new themes,В including the influence ofВ uncertainty on cost-benefit research and toВ introduce a number of recent and updated case studies.

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But, once this change has occurred, the economist is concerned only with ways of meeting it efficiently. Once social capital is irretrievably sunk in the London area, nothing can be done about it. In the light of existing demands, unwanted capital facilities become useless. All that matters now is the economic feasibility of building a new social capital in Brighton, where it is wanted. We must, therefore, compare only the additional capital outlays in Brighton with the magnitude of the expected benefits over the future as measured by the demand schedules for the extra services in question.

Tastes may also change spontaneously or in response to advertising campaigns. In so far as he cannot foretell such changes, the economist, if he is to make estimates at all, has perforce to project current valuations into the future in the knowledge that (to that extent) they are vulnerable. However, for public projects designed to improve the environment, to reduce pollution or to increase amenity, the valuation of their benefits is not likely to change significantly – at least not to fall significantly – with the passage of time.

The same is true of the marginal valuation curve for reductions in aircraft noise. Obviously, the benefit to the individual of a simultaneous reduction in the noise of both would be considerable: certainly more than the sum of the valuation as measured by the areas under the two ceteris paribus marginal valuation curves. The correct measure of the benefit of removing both sources of noise is derived by adding to the benefit (or consumer surplus) as measured under the marginal valuation curve for car-noise riddance given the existing high volume of aircraft noise, the subsequent benefit (or consumer surplus) as measured by the area under the now much higher marginal valuation curve for aircraft-noise reduction.

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