Should We Build More Large Dams? The Actual Costs of Hydropower Megaproject Development

  title={Should We Build More Large Dams? The Actual Costs of Hydropower Megaproject Development},
  author={Atif Ansar and Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier and Daniel Lunn},
  journal={Political Economy - Development: Environment eJournal},
A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. We investigate this question with the “outside view” or “reference class forecasting” based on literature on decision-making under uncertainty in psychology. We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased below actual costs of large hydropower dams—excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing… Expand
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