• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject International and Developmental Economics
  • Areas of interest Economics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person

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 essential for the evaluation of government activity by applying cost-benefit techniques, including under conditions of uncertainty. Case studies from Australia and overseas will be explored. Alternative decision-making approaches will also be studied.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate a solid understanding of the basic rationale and techniques for applying cost-benefit analysis to government-sponsored programs, policies, and projects.
  2. Be able to plan and implement cost-benefit analysis.
  3. Critique a cost-benefit study prepared by someone else.
  4. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of cost-benefit analysis.
  5. Conduct research and communicate critical analysis of cost-benefit analysis and alternative approaches.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Problem set (maximum 1,000 words) (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Contribution to class discussion forum (5) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  3. Essay (maximum 2,500 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Final exam (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

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.


The standard workload is 130 hours including class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable.

Prescribed Texts

Boardman, AE, Greenberg, DH, Vining, AR & Weimer DL 2018, Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice, 5th edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge UK.

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge in microeconomics and mathematics is assumed.


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

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
2024 $4680 Standard Rate
2024 $3720 Grandfathered Rate*

*continuing students in nominated programs only. See fee website

International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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