• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Advanced
    Specialist
  • Course subject International and Developmental Economics
  • Areas of interest Economics
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Leo Dobes
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

The objective of Cost-Benefit Analysis is to provide decision-makers with information about the social value of government-sponsored programs, projects and policies, so that they can allocate resources in a way that improves the well-being of society as a whole.  The course covers  the key concepts and tools that are essential for the evaluation of government activity by applying cost-benefit techniques, including under conditions of uncertainty.  Case studies are employed to give students the confidence and insights required to undertake their individual assignment.  Alternative decision-making approaches will also be presented to provide a perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of cost-benefit analysis.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will have: 

  • a solid understanding of the basic rationale and techniques for applying cost-benefit analysis to government-sponsored programs, policies and projects. 
  • the ability to plan and implement a cost-benefit study;
  • the ability to understand and critique a cost-benefit study prepared by someone else.

Other Information

Topics

Week 1 - Overview and conceptual issues

Week 2 - Microeconomic underpinnings

Week 3 - Valuing benefits and costs

Week 4 - Time preference and net present value

Week 5 - Social discount rates

Week 6 - Valuation of impacts

Week 7 - Valuing impacts from observed behaviour

Week 8 - Valuing impacts using stated preference

Mid-term test: to be notified

week 9 - Shadow pricing

week 10 - Risk and uncertainty

week 11 - Uncertainty and options

week 12 - Alternative evaluation approaches and distributional issues

Indicative Assessment

  • Assignment Topic Summary 10%
  • Essay 45%
  • Exam 45%

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Workload

The IDEC 8088 course involves attendance at a weekly lecture of three hours (including a half hour break), plus a weekly tutorial of one hour.  Tutorial times and venues will be determined in the first week of the semester.

Prescribed Texts

Boardman, AE, Greenberg, DH, Vining, AR & Weimer DL 2010, Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and practice, 4th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Indicative Reading List

The main text for the course is Boardman, AE, Greenberg, DH, Vining, AR & Weimer DL 2010, Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and practice, 4th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey. 

 

Cost Benefit Analysis covers a broad range of topics, so that a single text may not cover all relevant material.  Supplementary material will therefore be used in the course.  The following texts contain additional material that will be useful for some sections of the course, especially if students wish to explore a specific topic in more detail.  A Reading Brick is also available.

 

Department of Finance and Administration 2006, Handbook of Cost-Benefit Analysis, Financial Management Reference Material no. 6, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.  <http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/finance-circulars/2006/docs/Handbook_of_CB_analysis.pdf>

 

Gramlich, EM 1990, A guide to Benefit-Cost Analysis, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey. 

 

Luskin, D & Dobes, L 1999, Facts and furphies in benefit-cost analysis: transport, Research Report 100, Bureau of Transport Economics, Canberra.  Downloadable at <http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/1999/report_100.aspx>

 

Mishan, EJ & Quah, E 2007, Cost Benefit Analysis, 5th edn, Routledge, Oxford.

 

Pearce, DW & Nash, CA 1981, The social appraisal of projects.  A text in Cost-Benefit Analysis, Macmillan, London. 

 

Perkins, F 1994, Practical Cost Benefit Analysis, Macmillan Education, South Melbourne.

 

Sinden, JA & Thampapillai, DJ 1995, Introduction to benefit-cost analysis, Longman Australia, Melbourne.  http://library.anu.edu.au/record=b2520009

 

Zhuang, J, Liang, J, Lin, T, & De Guzman, F 2007, Theory and Practice in the Choice of Social Discount Rate for Cost-Benefit Analysis: a Survey, ERD Working Paper 94, Asian Development Bank, Manila.  Downloadable <http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/pub/2007/WP094.pdf>

Assumed Knowledge

IDEC 8088 is designed specifically for Masters level students.  IDEC Graduate Diploma students should enrol under the course code IDEC 8001.  Non-IDEC students should seek advice from their own area before enrolling in either course.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 3
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
3459 19 Feb 2018 26 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person

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