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The Globalization of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy$
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Michael A. Livermore and Richard L. Revesz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199934386

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199934386.001.0001

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The Role of Distributional Analysis in Cost-Benefit Analysis

The Role of Distributional Analysis in Cost-Benefit Analysis

A Case Study of Hydroelectric Projects in Panama

Chapter:
(p.279) 18 The Role of Distributional Analysis in Cost-Benefit Analysis
Source:
The Globalization of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy
Author(s):

Sarah Cordero

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199934386.003.0018

Distributional analysis offers crucial insight into the equity effects of plans and policies. This chapter examines the importance of distributional analysis, using as a case study the cost-benefit analyses of four hydroelectric projects contemplated by the Panamanian government in 2006. Detailed analysis showed that, while they may have some harmful effects, these projects were likely to generate net benefits. But the distribution of those benefits was highly skewed, with the Panamanian government and investors reaping most of the rewards, while local indigenous people and the environment incurred a large portion of the costs. Distributional analysis can help inform policymaking to ensure that equity considerations are given appropriate consideration.

Keywords:   distributional analysis, hydroelectric, Panama, indigenous, equity

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