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Principles of Cost Benefit Analysis

How to conduct and evaluate the analysis
Instructor:
Jaakko Heikkilä
658 students enrolled
English [Auto]
Principles of Cost Benefit Analysis
Structure of Cost benefit Analysis
Methods for assessing costs and benefits
Total economic value
Terminology in cost benefit analysis
Discounting
Uncertainty analysis in cost benefit analysis
Comparing the alternatives in cost benefit analysis

This course introduces the principles of cost benefit analysis and provides a clear structure for conducting or evaluating a cost benefit analysis. 

The course begins by discussing what cost benefit analysis can be used for, in what kinds of situations it has been used in real life, and why it is preferred to some other methods for analysing whether a project should be implemented or not. It then moves on to introduce 10 steps for conducting a cost benefit analysis, and explains these steps carefully one by one. Examples and references to real life are provided throughout the course. Additionally, throughout the steps one particular example is followed through to provide some flesh to the story. After the steps, the course also discusses some shortcomings of the method and the importance of making policy recommendations after the analysis. 

After the course the student should have a clear overview of cost benefit analysis and its possibilities, but also be aware of the shortcomings of the method. The student knows the structure or the cost benefit analysis and can use the structure to conduct their own analysis or evaluate an existing one.

Introduction to the course and subject

1
Introduction

After completing this lecture the student knows what the course is all about and what it includes.

2
What is a cost benefit analysis?

After completing this lecture the student knows what cost benefit analysis is and why it is important from a social perspective

3
Why use a cost benefit analysis?

After completing this lecture the student knows why using a cost benefit analysis is important from a social perspective and what are its strengths compared to some other measures for assessing whether projects should go ahead or not.

4
What can cost benefit analysis be used for?

After completing this lecture the student knows in what kind of situations cost benefit analysis can be and has been used. The lecture provides examples of cost benefit analysis in different kinds of situations.

Setting up

1
Steps in a cost benefit analysis

After completing this lecture the student knows what a cost benefit analysis consists of, and has learned the steps involved in a cost benefit analysis.

2
Define goal and objectives

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 1 in cost benefits analysis, defining the goal and objectives.

3
Define alternative actions

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 2 in cost benefit analysis, defining the alternative actions to assess.

4
Define spatial and temporal extent

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 3 in cost benefits analysis, specifying the spatial and temporal limits of the analysis and defining the stakeholders.

Estimating costs and benefits

1
Select measurements and measure all the elements

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 4 in cost benefits analysis, selecting and measuring the impacts.

2
Predict outcome of impacts

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 5 in cost benefits analysis, predicting the impacts across space and time.

3
Estimate the costs and benefits

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 6 in cost benefits analysis, estimating the impacts in monetary terms.

4
Apply discounting

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 7 in cost benefits analysis, applying discounting to future costs and benefits.

Comparing costs and benefits

1
Aggregate the costs and benefits

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 8 in cost benefits analysis, aggregating the costs and benefits and calculating the indicators.

2
Perform sensitivity or uncertainty analysis

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 9 in cost benefits analysis, undertaking sensitivity and uncertainty analyses.

3
Identify the best actions and provide recommendations

After completing this lecture the student knows Step 10 in cost benefits analysis, identifying the best actions and making a policy recommendation.

Wrapping up

1
Caveats

After completing this lecture the student knows some of the caveats and weaknesses of cost benefits analysis.

2
Wrapping up

After completing this lecture the student knows good practices for cost benefit analysis and has completed the whole course.

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1 hours on-demand video
Full lifetime access
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Certificate of Completion
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