The cost benefit technique is so often referenced in government policy that a correct understanding is necessary for officials entrusted with public decisions. This book presents essential elements for understanding, interpreting, and conducting cost benefit analysis (CBA) in the context of local government. If you’re charged with preparing numerical analyses to assess the worthiness of a specific policy proposal, you’ll need this book to understand how costs and benefits are identified and analyzed in terms of economic efficiency and resource allocation. CBA is rooted in and has little or no value apart from the economic concepts of cost and resource efficiency. This book is designed to teach the correct use and interpretation of cost benefit analysis, while advising you of CBA’s limitations and pitfalls. Case studies, presented in the final chapters of this book, represent typical proposals confronted by local officials. The book also includes instructions for using computer spreadsheets to build basic cost benefit models and an appendix on the step-by-step process of discounting future costs and benefits.