By D. W. Pearce (auth.)
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Additional info for Cost-Benefit Analysis
Of course, it may well be that governments have well-defined objective functions which incorporate the necessary weights. Marglin  has demonstrated the way in which distributional issues can be treated as constraints on the objective function. Efficiency benefits are then maximised subject to the condition that the benefits accruing to a certain income group, or region, do not fall below a certain level. Overall, then, the schools of thought are divided upon (a) whether, in the absence of categorical government directives, distributional outcomes should be incorporated at all into the objective function, and (b) if they are to be allowed for, how the necessary weights are to be assigned.
1 It is necessary to allow for reinvestment only when the discount rate used is less than the rate ofretum on reinvested funds (see below, p. 47). 38 6 The Social Rate of Discount Whether the NPV, IRR or TV approach is adopted, a rate of discount (or rate of compound in the TV case) is required. There is a presumption that all benefits and costs, regardless of their nature, are to be discounted at the same rate, and that this rate is constant over time. Arguments can be advanced against both assumptions, but we proceed on this basis for the moment.
G. taxation) involve the present generation in a greater shift of resources to future generations compared with the use of investment-sacrificing financing. It has been noted that Marglin's model allows for different types of opportunity cost andfor different types of benefit (the latter not being included in the previous equations). Once again it is necessary to point out that, if the correct rate of discount is kJ as the OC school of thought would argue, then the distinction between different types of benefits is redundant.
Cost-Benefit Analysis by D. W. Pearce (auth.)