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Abstract

Over the past two decades public investment analysis has increased considerably, both in theory and practice. This can be observed from the vast amount of literature which is now available in this field compared to the interwar period, and the use being made of benefit cost analysis and other related investment analysis in decision making for the allocation of public resources. Public investment analysis in the form of benefit cost analysis was first explored by a Frenchman, Jules Dupuit, towards the middle of the 19th century. The first systematic attempt to apply benefit cost analysis to public economic decisions seemed to have occurred in the United States, however. This occurred in the field of water resource development.

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