Download this Essay in word format. Economic policy is a subject that has attracted considerable attention in recent months because of the presidential elections in the United States.
Evaluation[ edit ] CBA attempts to measure the positive or negative consequences of a project, which may include: Effects on non-users or non-participants.
Option value or other social benefits. A similar breakdown is employed in the environmental analysis of total economic value.
Both costs and benefits can be diverse. Financial costs tend to be most thoroughly represented in cost-benefit analyses due to relatively abundant market data. The net benefits of a project may incorporate cost savings or public willingness to pay compensation implying the public has no legal right to the benefits of the policy or willingness to accept compensation implying the public has a right to the benefits of the policy for the welfare change resulting from the policy.
The guiding principle of evaluating benefits is to list all categories of parties affected by an intervention and add the positive or negative value, usually monetary, that they ascribe to its effect on their welfare.
The actual compensation an individual would require to have their welfare unchanged by a policy is inexact at best. Surveys stated preference techniques or market behavior revealed preference techniques are often used to estimate the compensation associated with a policy.
Stated preference technique is a direct way of assessing willingness to pay. Because it involves asking people directly to indicate their willingness to pay for some environmental feature, or some outcome that is closely connected to the state of the environment.
Revealed preference technique is an indirect approach to individual willingness to pay. People make market choices among certain items that have different characteristics related to the environment, revealing the value they place on these environmental factors.
However, this can sometimes be avoided by using the related technique of cost-utility analysis, in which benefits are expressed in non-monetary units such as quality-adjusted life years. For example, road safety can be measured in terms of cost per life saved, without formally placing a financial value on the life.
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However, such non-monetary metrics have limited usefulness for evaluating policies with substantially different outcomes. Additionally, many other benefits may accrue from the policy, and metrics such as 'cost per life saved' may lead to a substantially different ranking of alternatives than traditional cost—benefit analysis.
Statistical murder Another controversy is valuing the environment, which in the 21st century is typically assessed by valuing ecosystem services to humans, such as air and water quality and pollution. Time and discounting[ edit ] CBA generally attempts to put all relevant costs and benefits on a common temporal footing using time value of money calculations.
This is often done by converting the future expected streams of costs and benefits into a present value amount using a discount rate. The selection of a discount rate for this calculation is subjective.
A smaller rate values future generations equally with the current generation. Empirical studies suggest that people discount future benefits in a way similar to that described in these calculations.
One example of this issue is the equity premium puzzlewhich suggests that long-term returns on equities may be higher than they should be, after controlling for risk and uncertainty. If so, market rates of return should not be used to determine the discount rate, as this would have the effect of undervaluing the distant future e.
This can be factored into the discount rate to have uncertainty increasing over timebut is usually considered separately. Particular consideration is often given to agents' risk aversion — preferring a situation with less uncertainty to one with higher uncertainty, even if the latter has a higher expected return.
In such a context, expected return calculations provide biased estimates of cost-benefits for a project, as they fail to account for differences in the degree of uncertainty. Alternatively a more formal risk analysis can be undertaken using Monte Carlo simulations.
History[ edit ] The French engineer and economist Jules Dupuitcredited with the creation of cost—benefit analysis. Over the s, CBA was applied in the US for water quality,  recreation travel,  and land conservation.
Government guidebooks for the application of CBA to public policies include the Canadian guide for regulatory analysis,  Australian guide for regulation and finance,  US guide for health care programs,  and US guide for emergency management programs.
This presented cost—benefit results and detailed environmental impact assessments in a balanced way. NATA was first applied to national road schemes in the Roads Review but subsequently rolled out to all transport modes. As ofit was a cornerstone of transport appraisal in the UK, and it is maintained and developed by the Department for Transport.
Shortly thereafter, in the s, academic and institutional critiques of CBA started to emerge. The three main criticisms were: Debates on the merits of cost and benefit comparisons can be used to sidestep political or philosophical goals, rules and regulations.
That CBA is inherently anti-regulatory, and therefore not a neutral analysis tool.Aug 14, · Facts on File coverage of all major political, social, and economic events. Gives weekly overviews of current events with news stories.
Covers events going back to November An economic policy is a course of action that is intended to influence or control the behavior of the economy. Economic policies are typically implemented and administered by the government.
Examples of economic policies include decisions made about government spending and taxation, about the. Will an opening of the capital markets produce substantial distribution-based economic growth?
How can the need for increased economic growth to benefit poor and working people be harmonized with environmental necessities?
Nov 01, · A formal system of review monitors the financial and economic policies of member countries and offers macroeconomic and financial policy advice. Two controversial economic policies are Keynesian economics and Supply Side economics.
They represent opposite sides of the economic policy spectrum and were introduced at opposite ends of the 20th century, yet still are the most famous for their effects on the economy of the United States.
Economic Analysis and Policy publishes articles from all branches of economics. It features contributions that have policy relevance, both theoretical and applied.
EAP particularly seeks to publish passionate, critical, and controversial articles.