Dutch politicians’ attitudes towards Cost-Benefit Analysis

Niek Mouter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


In this study Dutch politicians were interviewed to derive their attitudes towards the use of Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) in the appraisal of transport projects. Dutch politicians’ attitudes towards CBA are positive on the condition that CBAs are carried out in an impartial way. According to politicians CBA improves the planning process, serves as a countervailing power and produces a structured list of all the positive and negative effects of a project, amongst other things. Politicians criticize the use of CBA for killing political debates. Politicians were also asked to mention any solutions that they feel would improve their attitude towards CBA. Solutions suggested by politicians predominantly focus on: 1) ensuring that all effects that are covered in the CBA are scrutinized in an impartial way; 2) increasing the awareness and recognition of the elements of the political trade-off that are not covered by a CBA to diminish the probability that politicians will use CBA to kill a political debate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalTransport Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Ex-ante evaluation
  • Political decision-making
  • Transport policy
  • Transport project appraisal


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