Cost Benefit Analysis


Units: 6


As public policy analysts, we are often presented with making decisions that are economically efficient - that is, how does one gain the most benefit for society, given limited resources? Economics provides the theoretical foundation of decision-making, but putting theory into practice is not always easy. Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is an analytical tool used to determine the worth of a project, program, or policy. It identifies and attempts to quantify the costs and benefits of the project or program and provides decision-makers with manageable information to find the "best" outcome. CBA helps managers to answer questions such as: ¿ Does the proposal provide a net benefit to the community as a whole? ¿ Should the project/program/policy be undertaken? ¿ Should the project/program be continued? ¿ Which of the alternative projects should be undertaken? The course employs various economic and statistical techniques to answer these questions, condensed into a 6-week course.