Assessing conceptions of cost–benefit analysis among road safety decision-makers: misunderstandings or disputes?
Statements about economic cost–benefit analysis were assessed in a sample of European road safety decision-makers. These statements related to both principles of cost–benefit analysis and implications for applying the method to road safety projects. A procedure of information
reference testing was applied, under the assumption of identifying knowledge and possible misconceptions about the method. Homogeneity and ordinal logit analyses indicated that a high sum-score correlated with economist background, while a low sum-score correlated significantly with negative
attitudes towards assessing road safety policy by cost–benefit analysis. However, the sum-score from the statements cannot be regarded as an unequivocal measure of knowledge, and the responses may indicate a boundary dispute about economics as scientific knowledge versus economics as
a policy tool.