This dissertation is concerned with the appraisal of public investment s and is divided into two main parts, dealing respectively with the theory and application of benefits/cost analysis. In the first part consideration is given to the theoretical basis of this type of analysis, to the functioning of the price mechani.sm in the presence of social (versus private) wants, and to the main problems likely to be encountered in the appraisal of diverse kinds of public projects. An extended treatment is given to the important issue of discount rate selection, and the appropriate criteria for the presentation of the results of the analysis are then considered. Finally, the “basic” theory is modified to make allowance for the important problems posed by the presence of budgetary constraints, and by dynamic aspects of investment planning. Emphasis throughout is on benefit/cost analysis as a practical aid to decision-making.
An attempt is made in Part II of the thesis to apply- most of the analytical constructs to case studies of the proposed Logan and Albert River Schemes in South- Fast Queens. In particular, the role of benefit/cost analysis as a technique of comparative evaluation is emphasized. A major conclusion is that while benefit/cost analysis is in need of further refinement, no superior technique of project appraisal is presently available,