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OECD Paper Discusses Improving Cost-Benefit Analyses in Transport

April 2011: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) International Transport Forum has published a discussion paper titled “Improving the Practice of Cost Benefit Analysis in Transport.”

The paper comprises the summary and conclusions of the Roundtable on Improving the Practice of Cost Benefit Analysis in Transport, which took place on 21-22 October 2010, in Queretaro, Mexico. The paper addresses typical problems associated with cost-benefit analysis (CBA), such as what should be included in such analyses and on which sides of the equation, and the relative importance of CBA in overall decision-making processes. Its sections cover: the definition and role of CBA; current practices; and improving CBA. It also discusses environmental and climate-related costs and benefits.

The paper concludes that, while CBA is a valuable tool for bringing structure, rationality and transparency to decision making, more consistent use of broader-based CBAs would lead to better decisions. [Publication: Improving the Practice of Cost Benefit Analysis in Transport]