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Participatory Value Evaluation versus Cost-Benefit Analysis: comparing recommendations in the context of urban mobility investments

Niek Mouter, Paul Koster () and Thijs Dekker ()
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Niek Mouter: Delft University of Technology

No 19-046/VIII, Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers from Tinbergen Institute

Abstract: Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a widely applied economic appraisal tool to support the planning and decision-making process for transport projects. In a CBA, impacts of government projects are made comparable by converting them into monetary units using the number of euros individuals are willing to pay from their private income. Scholars argue that such willingness-to-pay estimates may be a poor proxy for how the same individuals believe that their governments should trade-off public budget and impacts of government projects. Participatory Value Evaluation (PVE) is a new appraisal method specifically designed to overcome this critique. PVE establishes the desirability of government projects based on an experiment in which individuals select their preferred portfolio of government projects given a constrained public budget. The present paper investigates whether CBA and PVE lead to different policy recommendations. We conducted CBAs and a PVE for 16 transport projects and find that projects which focus on improving traffic safety and improvements for cyclists/pedestrians perform relatively good in the PVE, whereas car projects perform relatively good in the CBA analysis. Moreover, this paper explains how the results of a PVE should be positioned next to the results of a CBA and it generates empirical insights into potential reasons why safety projects and cycling project perform differently in a PVE.

Date: 2019-07-05, Revised 2020-01-27
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ppm, nep-tre and nep-ure
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