Why is Cost‐Benefit Analysis so Controversial?

  title={Why is Cost‐Benefit Analysis so Controversial?},
  author={Robert H. Frank},
  journal={The Journal of Legal Studies},
  pages={913 - 930}
  • R. Frank
  • Published 1 June 2000
  • Philosophy
  • The Journal of Legal Studies
The cost‐benefit principle says we should take those actions, and only those actions, whose benefits exceed their costs. For many, this principle's commonsensical ring makes it hard to imagine how anyone could disagree. Yet critics of cost‐benefit analysis are both numerous and outspoken. Many of them argue that cost‐benefit analysis is unacceptable as a matter of principle. I begin by noting why many find this argument largely unpersuasive. I then examine several conventions adopted by cost… 
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Frank , Are Workers Paid Their Marginal Products ? 74
  • Am . Econ . Rev .
  • 1973