Elgar Advanced Introductions are stimulating and thoughtful introductions to major fields in the social sciences and law, expertly written by the world’s leading scholars. Designed to be accessible yet rigorous, they offer concise and lucid surveys of the substantive and policy issues associated with discrete subject areas.
This concise yet comprehensive introduction aims to outline the core principles of Cost–Benefit Analysis (CBA), laying them out in an accessible manner with minimum technical detail. The applied nature of the subject is emphasized by showing how each of the principles is applied to an actual public policy intervention, covering transport, education, health and the environment. Robert J. Brent demonstrates how economic efficiency and equity can be combined as social objectives to help determine decisions that can increase satisfaction for all.
Covering the fundamental principles, this book presents applications for every concept discussed and lays the foundations for further study in the field. It combines distribution with efficiency as the objectives of public policy, compares the CBA methodology with competing methods of allocating resources that satisfy basic needs, and analyses CBA from the perspective of modern applied welfare economics. The main conclusion is that CBA is the basis for understanding any kind of public policy decision regardless of the field of study, be that government expenditure, taxation or regulation, and irrespective of the tangible or intangible outcome the policy is attempting to influence
Both accessible and erudite, the Advanced Introduction to Cost–Benefit Analysis will be essential reading for students of health, education, transportation, public finance, regulation, environmental and development economics, and political science, as well as the general reader interested in understanding how public policy should be implemented. Furthermore, the insightful analysis will appeal to practitioners working in government, public institutions and NGOs.