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Cost–Benefit Analysis and Distributional Preferences

A Choice Modelling Approach Helen Scarborough, Senior Lecturer, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Deakin University, Warrnambool, Australia and Jeff Bennett, Professor of Environmental Management, Crawford School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Advancing the incorporation of equity preferences in policy analysis, this book demonstrates the application of choice modelling to the estimation of distributional weights suitable for inclusion in a cost–benefit analytical framework. A platform for discussion of the challenges and opportunities of this approach is presented in the form of a detailed case study designed to estimate community preferences for different intergenerational distributions. While the case study is focused on natural resource management and environmental policy, the conceptual and methodological advances illustrated by the authors are relevant and applicable to a wider array of policy deliberations.
Extent: 136 pp
Hardback Price: $111.00 Web: $99.90
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 0 85793 222 8
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Public Finance
  • Public Sector Economics
  • Valuation
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Valuation
This pathbreaking study illustrates and enhances the potential of cost–benefit analysis as a tool for decision-making.

Advancing the incorporation of equity preferences in policy analysis, the authors demonstrate the application of choice modelling to the estimation of distributional weights suitable for inclusion in a cost–benefit analytical framework. A platform for discussion of the challenges and opportunities of this approach is presented in the form of a detailed case study designed to estimate community preferences for different intergenerational distributions. While the case study is focused on natural resource management and environmental policy, the conceptual and methodological advances illustrated by the authors are relevant and applicable to a wider array of policy deliberations.

This book will prove a challenging and thought-provoking read for academics, students and policymakers with an interest in environmental issues and/or public sector economics.
‘Helen Scarborough and Jeff Bennett have produced a work that is genuinely path-breaking. As is often the case with path-breaking work, the idea is simple enough: if people can respond to choice experiments in ways that tell us a lot about what they value and how much they value it, why would they not be able to respond to choice experiments where the options offered have different distributional consequences? Such simple ideas evade implementation not because they are so hard to think up, but because it is so easy to dismiss them as unthinkable. All credit goes to Scarborough and Bennett for busting through this particular unthinkability barrier. . . [The authors] may be surprised by the magnitude and the nature of the impact this work eventually enjoys.’
– From the foreword by Alan Randall, University of Sydney, Australia
Contents: Foreword 1. Distribution and Environmental Policy 2. Distributional Weighting and Cost–Benefit Analysis 3. Choice Modelling and Distributional Preferences 4. Case Study: Design of Intergenerational Distribution Choice Experiment 5. Case Study: Results of Intergenerational Distribution Choice Experiment 6. Choice Modelling and Distributional Preferences: Challenges and Opportunities Bibliography Index