Cost-benefit analysis, rationality and the plurality of values

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Critics of cost-benefit analysis have often called attention to the difficulties of quantifying environmental 'goods' and 'bads' consistently. Intractable as these problems are, however, they result from a more general confusion between rational decision-making and calculation which afflicts more orthodox 20th century economics. This confusion is tied to an institutional framework which frustrates the full use of rationality in environmental choice. Current efforts to 'green' economics should abandon the attempt to commensurate plural values and focus instead on the institutional conditions which enable individuals and groups to treat the environment in a prudent and sensitive way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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