Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment

Recent Developments

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This book presents an in-depth assessment of the most recent conceptual and methodological developments in cost-benefit analysis and the environment. It examines how costs and benefits are evaluated and given monetary value, how to take into account impacts on future generations and impacts of irreversible losses, and how to deal with equity and sustainability issues.

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Critics of CBA often focus on the use of positive “discounting ” – the procedure whereby a lower weight is put on the future than on the present. This chapter shows how discount rates have traditionally been determined and raises the issue of whether a constant discount rate is justified. Not only are discount rates that vary negatively with time observable in practice, but there are various theoretical justifications for such rates.

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