Benefit cost analysis as a mechanism for evaluating conservation policies in developing countries
Can benefit-cost analysis (BCA) be used in the developing world in the same way in which it is used in developed market economies? The paper by Arrow et al. makes a good case for employing BCA to evaluate environmental, health, and safety regulations in the United States. It offers a number of principles to guide the use of benefit-cost analyses, some of which can be applied to developing countries. Conservation policies in the tropics can help illustrate the relevance of BCA for evaluating regulations in less industrialized countries. I use a set of studies on the Mantadia National Park to show in practical terms how and when BCA can serve as an effective evaluative tool.
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