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Basic Cost Benefit Analysis for Assessing Local Public Projects, Second Edition by Maryann O. Keating, Barry P. Keating

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CHAPTER 5

Shadow Pricing

To press non-economic values into the framework of the economic calculus, economists use the method of cost/benefit analysis…it is a procedure by which the higher is reduced to the level of the lower and the priceless is given a price. It can therefore never serve to clarify the situation and lead to an enlightened decision. All it can do is lead to self-deception or the deception of others; for to undertake to measure the immeasurable is absurd and constitutes but an elaborate method of moving from preconceived notions to forgone conclusions….

—E. F. Schumacher (1973)

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When you have completed reading this chapter you will:

realize that market values for certain costs and benefits are not always ...

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