Methods for Estimating Benefits (Benefit Analysis Series)

Crawford School of Public Policy

How long?

  • 1 day
  • in person

Crawford School of Public Policy

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Who should attend

This course is suitable for both beginners and as a refresher for those with an economics background.Simple mathematics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and area of triangle (0.5 times the base and the height) will be used.

About the course

This series will develop your skills to confidently undertake a basic cost-benefit analysis or a project or policy, capably review repots prepared by consultants, and prepare regulatory impact statements.

A combination of essential concepts, case studies and practical exercises is used, without the use of mathematics. The series is suitable for both beginners and as a refresher for those with an economics background.

Course overview

Drawing on basic techniques, this course explores different methods of estimating benefits, including in seemingly unquantifiable areas such as the environment. Uncertainty about the future is addressed through the ‘real options’ approach which is particularly relevant to areas such as adaptation to climate change. The course concludes with comparisons of cost-benefit analysis with cost-effectiveness analysis and multi-criteria analysis.

This course is suitable for those who have taken the ‘Introduction to Cost-benefit analysis’ course and as a refresher for those with an economics background.

Theoretical underpinnings

  • Willingness to pay, willingness to accept
  • Consumer surplus, producer surplus, social surplus
  • Deadweight loss
  • Economic versus accounting depreciation
  • Primary and secondary markets

Estimated benefits

  • Revealed preference (estimating demand functions, hedonic pricing, avoided cost, travel cost method, intermediate goods method)
  • Stated preference (contingent valuation methods, choice modelling)
  • Distributional issues

Case study: Wider economic impacts in transport analysis

Risk and uncertainty

  • Knightian risk and uncertainty
  • Expected value versus Monte Carlo analysis
  • Sensitivity testing
  • Real options

Alternate approaches to decision-making

Cost-effectiveness analysis Multicriteria analysis

Methodology:

A combination of essential concepts, case studies and practical exercises is used, without the use of mathematics. The schedule is subject to alteration to suit participants’ particular interests.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Confidently undertake a basic cost-benefit analysis of a project or policy
  • Competently review reports prepared by consultants
  • Prepare regulatory impact statements

Experts

Kaliappa Kalirajan

Kaliappa Kalirajan is an applied economist and policy analyst. He received his Masters in Mathematical Economics from Madurai University (1970), Master of Letters in Econometrics from Madurai University (1973) and Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the Australian National University (1979). ...

Methods for Estimating Benefits (Benefit Analysis Series) at Crawford School of Public Policy

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