A Comment on the Conference on Cost-Benefit Analysis
Gary S. Becker
University of Chicago - Department of Economics; University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
Journal of Legal Studies, Pt. 2, Vol. 29, No. 2, June 2000
This comment discusses the importance of politics in understanding cost-benefit analysis. Economists frequently rely on a social planner model, under which cost-benefit analysis has a straightforward role. However, a better model for understanding actual political choices of policies and programs is the interest group competition model. In this model, cost-benefit analysis can be used to explain why some regulations and other policies are adopted and others are not. Further, cost-benefit analysis may also be useful for undermining misleading claims of self-interested political pressure groups.
Date posted: July 13, 2000
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