Institutional Responses to Policy Change

Partha Dasgupta

in Human Well-Being and the Natural Environment

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199247882
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596100 | DOI:
 Institutional Responses to Policy Change

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Discusses policy change in the midst of markets and non‐market institutions. Accounting prices are particularly difficult to estimate in non‐market institutions because of an absence of market prices to serve as guide. Moreover, changes in public policy (e.g. changes in the structure of taxes and trade) frequently affect the macro‐economy. Involving as they do large changes to an economy, their evaluation requires more complex estimation procedures. Accounting prices don’t suffice. By means of three examples, I offer a sketch of how social cost–benefit analysis is useful for identifying what the evaluator ought to try to measure and why. The first example is a miniature, involving communal management of irrigation systems in Nepal; the latter two are altogethergrander, illustrating some of the environmental implications for poor countries of structural adjustment programmes and trade liberalization.

Keywords: accounting prices; cost‐benefit analysis; environment; market prices; Nepal; non‐market institutions; policy change; poor countries; structural adjustment programmes; trade liberalization

Chapter.  6125 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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