SA4M4E      Half Unit
Policy Appraisal and Impact Assessment

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible



This course is compulsory on the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course aims to introduce students to the main concepts and tools of policy appraisal and project impact assessment. The course covers the following topics: Overview of appraisal and valuation; Cost-benefit analysis; Equivalent variation and compensating variation; Stated preference methods; Quality-adjusted life years; Revealed preference methods; the subjective

well-being account and approach to valuation; Efficiency, equity, and distributional issues. The course offers practical examples and applications to key policy sectors, such as health and the environment.


17 hours and 30 minutes of lectures and 5 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

Indicative reading

Adler M. and Posner E.A. (2008) Happiness research and cost-benefit analysis. The Journal of Legal Studies, 37, 253-292.

Blumenschein K., Blomquist G.C., Johannesson M., Horn N., and Freeman P. (2008) Eliciting willingness to pay without bias: Evidence from a field experiment.

Diamond P.A. and Hausman J.A. (1994) Contingent valuation: Is some number better than no number? The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 8, 45-64.

Dolan P. and Kahneman D. (2008) Interpretations of utility and their implications for the valuation of health. Economic Journal, 118, 215-234.

Dolan P. (2000) The measurement of health-related quality of life for use in resource allocation decisions in health care. In AJ Culyer and J Newhouse (eds), Handbook of Health Economics. North-Holland: Amsterdam; pp 1723-1760.

Fujiwara D. and Campbell R. (2011) Valuation techniques for social cost-benefit analysis: Stated preference, revealed preference and subjective well-being approaches. HM Treasury and Department of Work and Pensions, July 2011.

HM Treasury (2011) The Green Book: Appraisal and policy evaluation in central government. London, UK.

Pearce D., Atkinson G., and Mourato S. (2006) Cost-benefit analysis and the environment: Recent developments. OECD Publishing.

van Praag B.M.S. and Baarsma B.E. (2005) Using happiness surveys to value intangibles: The case of airport noise. Economic Journal, 115, 224-246.


Take home exam (100%) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills