Project Evaluation: Collected Papers by Arnold C. Harberger

By Arnold C. Harberger

These essays by means of the prestigious economist Arnold C. Harberger disguise the idea of undertaking review and its functions, with emphasis on public-sector investments designed to advertise fiscal development.

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Thus, the acceptance or rejection of a three-year project would turn on whether the sum: (B o -c 0) + (B1 -C1) + (B2 -C2) (1 +r1) (1 +r1 ) (1 +r2) (Ba -Ca) +-:-:---:-'-:-:=--:=-'-:-::-------:- (1 +r1 ) (1 +r2 ) (1 +ra) was greater or less than zero. =1 It is unfortunate that the great bulk of the literature on costbenefit analysis has been based on the simplifying assumption of a constant discount rate, because this assumption fails to give guidance as to how to overcome periods of unusual stringency in the supply of capital funds or how best to take advantage of a temporarily large availability of such funds.

E) The prospects of new sources of supply appearing in the future must be evaluated and, if they are likely to appear, supply from these sources must be projected. For any market, a key factor influencing demand is the level of income, and the projection of this magnitude is therefore of key importance. Unfortunately, there is no touchstone to estimating the rate of growth of income. In particular, the rate of growth of income is not directly tied to the rate of capital accumulation in the community, but is the resultant of many factors, of which capital accumulation is only one.

In the case of labor, the need for having distinct accounting prices for labor of different skills and types, and in different regions, is emphasized. It is suggested that a minimum estimate of the accounting price for urban labor of a given type may often be obtained from the wage rate received by labor of that type employed within the urban complex in activities in which wages are not influenced either by minimum wage legislation or by union agreements. It is explicitly concluded that the marginal productivity of labor in agriculture is not a relevant measure of the accounting price of urban labor.

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