A bottom-up approach to environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis

Carolus, J. F., Hanley, N. , Olsen, S. B. and Pedersen, S. M. (2018) A bottom-up approach to environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis. Ecological Economics, 152, pp. 282-295. (doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.06.009)

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Cost-Benefit Analysis is a method to assess the effects of policies and projects on social welfare. CBAs are usually applied in a top-down approach, in the sense that a decision-making body first decides on which policies or projects are to be considered, and then applies a set of uniform criteria to identifying and valuing relevant cost and benefit flows. This paper investigates the possible advantages, prerequisites and limitations of applying CBA in what may be considered an alternative, “bottom-up” manner. Instead of starting out with a pre-defined policy option, the suggested approach begins with the underlying environmental problem, and then assesses costs and benefits of strategies and solutions as identified by local and directly affected stakeholders. For empirical case studies concerning two river catchments in Sweden and Latvia, the bottom-up CBA approach utilises local knowledge, assesses plans which are not only developed for local conditions but are also likely to be more acceptable to local society, and sheds additional light on possible distributional effects. By not only benefitting from, but also supporting participatory environmental planning, bottom-up CBA is in line with the growing trend of embedding stakeholder participation within environmental policy and decision-making.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was partly carried out in the BONUS MIRACLE project and has therefore received funding from BONUS, the joint Baltic Sea research and development programme (Art 185), funded jointly by the European Union and the Innovation Fund Denmark, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Latvian Ministry of Education and Science, Polish National Centre for Research and Development, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, and Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (FORMAS).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hanley, Professor Nicholas
Authors: Carolus, J. F., Hanley, N., Olsen, S. B., and Pedersen, S. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Ecological Economics
ISSN (Online):1873-6106
Published Online:27 June 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Ecological Economics 152: 282-295
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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