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Cost-Benefit Analysis for Investment Decisions: Chapter 7 (Principles Underlying The Economic Analysis of Projects)

Glenn Jenkins (), Chun-Yan Kuo () and Arnold Harberger ()

No 2011-07, Development Discussion Papers from JDI Executive Programs

Abstract: While the financial analysis of a project focuses on matters of interest to investors, bankers, public sector budgets, etc., an economic analysis deals with the impact of the project on the entire society. The primary difference between the economic and financial evaluation is that the former aggregates benefits and costs over all the country's residents to determine whether the project improves the level of economic welfare of the country as a whole while the latter conside'rs the project from the point of view of the well-being of a particular institution or subgroup of the population. A broad consensus exists among accountants on the principles to be used in undertaking a financial appraisal of a potential investment. There is also considerable agreement among financial analysts on the cash flow and balance sheet requirements for a public sector project to pay for itself on a cash basis. However, these accounting and financial principles are not a sufficient guide for undertaking an economic appraisal of a project. This chapter explains the relationship between the financial and the evaluations and how the economics is grounded in microeconomic theory and it applications in welfare economics.

Keywords: economic evaluation; financial appraisal; net cash flow; willingness to pay; economic resource cost (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28 pages
Date: 2011-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc and nep-ppm
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