The focus of the course is on the ex-ante and ex-post economic evaluation of projects with major impacts from the societal standpoint, for which the information provided by relevant markets is incomplete. The discussion of the theoretical background, mainly based on applied “welfare economics” will be carried on along with the introduction to the techniques typically employed to tackle practical issues in economic evaluation. Students will learn how to integrate information from financial and economic evaluations at the different stages in the project life-cycle and to assess the impact of projects in theory and practice. These issues will be also discussed with reference to EU guidelines for projects candidate to access “structural funds”.
Case studies from a variety of fields will be presented and empirical exercises with real world data will be performed in the computer lab. During the course, students will be given the opportunity to work independently on a specific case study and present it in class.
- Financial and economic evaluation in the project life-cycle
- Applied “welfare economics”: costs and benefits evaluation with market imperfections
- EU guidelines for cost-benefit analysis of investment projects (available at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/studies/pdf/cba_guide.pdf)
- Economic evaluation when a market does not exist
- Risk assessment
- Project impact assessment and quasi-experimentation
There is no single textbook on which lectures are based. Specific readings will be suggested during the course. However, students may find very useful consulting the following textbooks:
|Campbell, Harry F.. Brown, Richard P.C.||Benefit-cost analysis : financial and economic appraisal using spreadsheets||Routledge||2015||978-0-521-52898-6|
|Khandker, Shahidur, Gayatri Koolwal and Hussain Samad||Handbook on impact evaluation: quantitative methods and practices||Washington, DC: World Bank||2010||978-0-8213-8028-4|
The evaluation will be based on a written exam (including both theoretical and practical questions). The ability to apply concepts to real world situations and the understanding of theory and methods are essential to obtain the highest marks. Students can choose to have part of the assessment based on a project assignment, which gives them the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts and methods learnt during the course to a real world problem.