Economic Analysis of Projects logo A general approach to economic analysis of projects is presented, including the basic notions of cost-benefit analysis in the context of project analysis. A systematic and consistent estimation and application of shadow prices is needed, and suggestions are made for incorporating distributional effects, as well as the customary efficiency components, into shadow prices. Social rates of return can then be calculated, taking into account the distributional impact of various projects, an aspect ignored in the usual economic rates of return as derived from efficiency prices. Shadow prices are derived to reflect a wide range of economic conditions and value judgments concerning basic policy objectives pertaining to growth and distribution. Uncertainty, sensitivity, and risk must also be evaluated in project analysis. An appendix addresses the technical derivation of shadow prices.

Publisher: World Bank

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