GY455      Half Unit
Economic Appraisal and Valuation

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Giles Atkinson S302 and Prof Susana Mourato S503

Other teacher(s): to be announced


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MPhil/PhD in Accounting, MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, MSc in Environmental Policy and Regulation, MSc in Local Economic Development, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Risk and Finance, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Urbanisation and Development and Master of Public Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The number of students that can be accommodated is limited. If the course is over-subscribed, places will be allocated at the Department’s discretion and a waiting list may be created. For further details, please contact your relevant Programme Coordinator

Course content

This course is concerned with the foundations and practical use of applied economics in the context of project appraisal and policy evaluation. Course content will be drawn from the following. Introduction to economic aspects of project appraisal and cost-benefit analysis. Efficiency, equity and distributional concerns. Measurement of costs and benefits with a specific emphasis on practical methods to value non-market goods and services. The use of appraisal and evaluation in policy processes. The application of project appraisal and policy evaluation methods to policy sectors such as transport, health and the environment. Seminars and lectures will focus on applied case studies and the tools involved in the appraisal of projects by for example development agencies such as The World Bank, European Commission and national governments. Examples particularly from environmental, health, development and transport policy in the developed and developing world.


12 hours of lectures and 8 hours of seminars in the LT.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will be provided to support each course component. Emphasis will be placed on texts, case study material and state-of-the-art contributions to, for example, the literature on non-market valuation. For an overview and introduction to the main issues covered by the course, students may wish to consult the following: G Atkinson and S Mourato, "Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment", OECD Environment Working Paper No. 97; AE Boardman et al, Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice, 2011 (chapters 1 and 2); N Hanley and EB Barbier Pricing Nature: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Environmental Policy, 2009; G de Rus Introduction to Cost-Benefit Analysis: Looking for Reasonable Shortcuts, 2011.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the LT.

A 4000 word essay linked to real-life examples of economic appraisal and valuation

Student performance results

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 21.6
Merit 49.7
Pass 26.2
Fail 2.4

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2017/18: 102

Average class size 2017/18: 20

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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