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Cost–benefit analysis: a decision-support tool or a venue for contesting ecosystem knowledge? / Hockley, N.

In: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 32, No. 2, 13.03.2014, p. 283-300.

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Hockley, N 2014, 'Cost–benefit analysis: a decision-support tool or a venue for contesting ecosystem knowledge?', Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 283-300. https://doi.org/10.1068/c1384j

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Hockley, N. / Cost–benefit analysis: a decision-support tool or a venue for contesting ecosystem knowledge?. In: Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. 2014 ; Vol. 32, No. 2. pp. 283-300.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Cost–benefit analysis: a decision-support tool or a venue for contesting ecosystem knowledge?

AU - Hockley, N.

N1 - Hockley, N. (2013). The definitive, peer-reviewed and edited version of this article is published in Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 32(2013),283-300, http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/c1384j

PY - 2014/3/13

Y1 - 2014/3/13

N2 - Managing ecosystems for multiple benefits and stakeholders is a formidable challenge requiring diverse knowledge to be discovered, transmitted, and aggregated. Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) is advocated as a theoretically grounded decision-support tool, but in practice it frequently appears to exert little influence. To understand this puzzle, I consider ecosystem knowledge and CBA from both the demand and supply sides. I argue that all ecosystem knowledge is contestable, which restricts the influence of technocratic tools like CBA. On the demand side, democratic mechanisms shape decision makers’ motivations and incentives, but also provide a substitute for technocratic evidence. Supply-side factors limiting the influence of CBA include the scarcity of decision-pertinent evidence and the uncertain meaning and usefulness of CBA. Demand-side factors are resistant to change; but taking account of them, I suggest some supply-side reforms, arguing that CBA is best regarded not as a tool but as a venue where ecosystem knowledge is aggregated and contested.

AB - Managing ecosystems for multiple benefits and stakeholders is a formidable challenge requiring diverse knowledge to be discovered, transmitted, and aggregated. Cost–benefit analysis (CBA) is advocated as a theoretically grounded decision-support tool, but in practice it frequently appears to exert little influence. To understand this puzzle, I consider ecosystem knowledge and CBA from both the demand and supply sides. I argue that all ecosystem knowledge is contestable, which restricts the influence of technocratic tools like CBA. On the demand side, democratic mechanisms shape decision makers’ motivations and incentives, but also provide a substitute for technocratic evidence. Supply-side factors limiting the influence of CBA include the scarcity of decision-pertinent evidence and the uncertain meaning and usefulness of CBA. Demand-side factors are resistant to change; but taking account of them, I suggest some supply-side reforms, arguing that CBA is best regarded not as a tool but as a venue where ecosystem knowledge is aggregated and contested.

U2 - 10.1068/c1384j

DO - 10.1068/c1384j

M3 - Article

VL - 32

SP - 283

EP - 300

JO - Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

JF - Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy

SN - 0263-774X

IS - 2

ER -