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On Balance: A New Rationale for Not Including Certain Impacts in Benefit-Cost Analysis

December 21, 2020
By: Daniel J. Acland, University of California Berkeley

This post is a summary of a paper I’ve written called What’s in, what’s out? Towards a rigorous definition of the boundaries of benefit-cost analysis, forthcoming in Economics and Philosophy. Students are typically told that benefit-cost analysis is an application of the potential Pareto criterion, which defines net benefit as the difference between the willingness to pay of winners for their gains from a policy and the willingness to accept of losers for their losses. If the difference is positive, the policy is a potential Pareto improvement, and we say that it generates positive net benefits. Economic philosophers have presented many objections to this definition, but none of these objections refutes the basic logic. Read more 

SBCA European Conference

2020 SBCA European Conference Keynote Speakers Jason Shogren and John Hassler share their thoughts on the intersection os COVID-19 and benefit-cost analysis. Watch now

Program Assessment Opportunity with the World Bank

The World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group (WB SDPG) is seeking consultant economists to carry out economic and financial analysis of investment projects in the following areas: agriculture and food; environment, natural resources, social development; urban development, disaster risk management, with climate change being a cross-cutting topic. 

If you have significant training and experience in analyzing the economic and financial viability of investments in any of these fields, we would like to invite you to register in the WB SDPG Roster of Consultant Project Economists by filling out an online questionnaire

Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis

JBCA Fall Issue Now Available

This issue features seven articles with specific and timely policies suggestions for the incoming Presidential administration in the U.S.

Volume 11 - Issue 2 of JBCA - Summer 2020

The issue presents a set of eight papers of much practical importance to the practice of benefit-cost analysis.

Volume 11 - Issue 1 of the JBCA Spring 2020

The spring 2020 edition of the Journal presents a collection of seven papers addressing the role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)...


Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis Presenting a Session at ASSA 2021 Annual Meeting

Regulatory Benefit-Cost Analysis – Advice for a New Presidential Term -Panel Session- Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)- Hosted By: SOCIETY FOR BENEFIT-COST ANALYSIS

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