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  • A quantitative analysis and decision-making tool used by public and private entities to assess the efficacy of policy decisions or projects. Cost-benefit analysis measures both costs and benefits in the context of a single metric, typically currency units. For example, in the United States, costs and benefits are measured with respect to the U.S. dollar, whereas in England they would be assessed with respect to the British pound.

    Under analysis, if the benefits exceed the costs (called a positive net benefit), then decision makers can use the analysis to justify moving forward with the policy under analysis; however, if the policy or project fails to meet expectations, then the initial analysis can be used as a way of assessing the quality and justification of the decision ...

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