Cost Benefit Analysis...

Cost Benefit Analysis Cost benefit analysis (CBA) is a tool which is used for the determination of the worth of a project, programme or policy. Its principles and practice are well established and widely used. Organizational management normally uses this tool to appraise a project before taking an investment decision. The decision to conduct a CBA for the project alternatives and the manner in which it is to be conducted is usually taken since it helps the management in making judgments and appraising available options. CBA is a systematic approach for the estimation of the strengths and weaknesses of alternatives and is used to determine options which provide the best approach to achieve benefits from the project. It is the comparison of costs and benefits of the project to decide whether it can be undertaken. In CBA both the tangible and intangible costs as well as tangible and intangible benefits are considered. CBA is a term that refers both to (i) a formal discipline used to help appraise, or assess, the case for a project, which itself is a process known as project appraisal, and (ii) an informal approach to making decisions. Under both definitions the process involves, whether explicitly or implicitly, weighing the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of the project or its alternatives in order to choose the best option. The idea of this economic accounting originated with Jules Dupuit, a French engineer whose 1848 article is still worth reading. The British economist, Alfred Marshall, formulated some of the formal concepts which are at the foundation of CBA. But the practical development of CBA came in 1936 when the regulatory act required US Corps of Engineers to take up only those projects for the improvement of the waterway system...