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Cost Benefit Analysis and Evaluation

Course Code: ECON 3360
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Economics
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week= 60 Hours
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

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%)

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

course prerequisites

ECON 1150 and ECON 1250

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.