Cost Benefit Analysis and Evaluation

Commerce & Business Administration
Course Code
ECON 3360
Semester Length
15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week= 60 Hours
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course is designed to introduce students to the basic principles of Cost-Benefit Analysis. It provides the opportunity to enhance both analytical and quantitative skills required for effective Cost-Benefit Analysis of various public and private projects and to evaluate and influence the design of policy design and government regulations. Topics include project evaluation techniques, common C-B measures, correct accounting measures of time, costs, and benefits, the measurement of social value and welfare change, shadow prices, present and future values, accounting for intangibles, the determination of the appropriate discount rate, inflation, contingent valuation, public enterprise pricing rules, and the incorporation of risk and uncertainty.
Course Content
  1. Introduction
  2. CBA, purpose and applications
  3. Foundations of CBA
  4. Measuring efficiency, willingness-to-pay, compensation, and political process
  5. Measurement of changes in welfare, consumer surplus and efficiency
  6. Cost and benefit evaluation in primary markets
  7. Cost and benefit evaluation in secondary market
  8. Timing, discounting, and future values
  9. Expected values and uncertainty
  10. Social discount rate
  11. Shadow prices
  12. Applications and examples
Learning Activities

Lecture and seminar

Means of Assessment

Means of Assessment:

Term test(s) 25% - 50%

Assignments/ projects 10% - 35%

Final Exam 30% - 40% 

Total 100%

(no individual test or assignment to exceed 40%)


Students may conduct research as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans, which can require obtaining Informed Consent from participants and getting the approval of the Douglas College Research Ethics Board prior to conducting the research.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Compare methodologies and assess information requirements for cost-benefit analysis (CBA)
  2. Critique and compare the common cost-benefit analysis measures
  3. Evaluate and demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of social welfare, market failure and efficient resource allocation
  4. Correctly account for and measure time, costs, and benefits
  5. Explain the distributional consequences of changes in social surplus which result from policies, projects, and programs
  6. Apply and evaluate discounting methods for inter-temporal comparisons of costs and benefits
  7. Analyze the impact of uncertainty on cost-benefit analysis
  8. Explain how to use cost-benefit analysis as a tool to provide economic advice and evaluate government policy
Textbook Materials

The textbook is:

A.E. Boardman, D.H. Greenberg, A.R. Vining, and D.L. Weimer, Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice, Pearson Education.

or textbook as approved by the Economics Department.




No corequisite courses.


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for ECON 3360
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC ECON 2XX (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR ECON 2XX (3)
Coquitlam College (COQU) No credit
University Canada West (UCW) UCW ECON 3XX (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ECON 451 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV ECON 3XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ECON 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) VCC ECON 2XXX (3)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) No credit

Course Offerings

Summer 2024