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Value Typology in Cost-Benefit Analysis

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Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) evaluates actions in terms of negative consequences (costs) and positive consequences (benefits). Though much has been said on CBA, little attention has been paid to the types of values held by costs and benefits. This paper introduces a simple typology of values in CBA and applies it to three forms of CBA: the common, money-based CBA, CBA based in social welfare, and CBA based in intrinsic value. The latter extends CBA beyond its usual anthropocentric domain. Adequate handling of value typology in CBA avoids analytical mistakes and connects CBA to its consequentialist roots.
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Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis; consequentialism; social welfare; value typology; welfare economics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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