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Abstract

The economic criterion of public investment choice is aggregate consumers' surpluses and producers' rents generated by the investment. Its analytical model is a social revenue function and a social cost function. It is a welfare criterion only so far as efficiency is a welfare component and then subject to severe limitations. It is argued here that the economist's conclusions rest in part on a set of value preferences; therefore, the test of their rightness is in part their acceptability to the public choice-maker.

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