1998 volume 30(12) pages 2181 – 2194
doi:10.1068/a302181

Cite as:
Pires C, 1998, "Sustainability and cost - benefit analysis" Environment and Planning A 30(12) 2181 – 2194

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Sustainability and cost - benefit analysis

C Pires

Received 23 July 1997; in revised form 3 August 1998

Abstract. In this paper I address the issue of incorporating environmental sustainability in project appraisal. I extend the results of Barbier, Markandya, and Pearce on 'operationalizing' a concept of sustainability into appraisal methods for practical decisionmaking. I generalize their results in two directions. First, I abandon their implicit assumption that benefits and costs of a given project in a given period depend only on the level of activity of the project in the same period. Second, I address the issue of which portfolio of projects to choose. My results show how to modify the net present value criterion for choosing a set of projects in the presence of a sustainability constraint.

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