ECON346-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Special Topic: Economic Cost-Benefit Analysis

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


Economic cost-benefit analysis (CBA) involves the use of microeconomics to formally assess the costs and benefits of different projects or investments. CBA is frequently used as a key input into major policy decisions for government ministries and departments. Understanding the advantages and limitations of CBA, and being able to distinguish well-conducted from poor analyses, is an important skill for a public policy analyst, or for a professional analyst or consultant. This course provides you with the conceptual foundations and practical knowledge you will need to read and understand CBA reports, conduct a CBA, and to be a thoughtful consumer of policy research. An important part of the course is learning different economic methods to calculate and then estimate values of costs and benefits. The course draws on a mixture of economic theory and real-life case studies to examine both the theoretical and practical issues involved in CBA.

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the economic concepts that provide the foundation for economic cost-benefit analysis.
2. Learn the practical steps involved in conducting economic cost benefit analyses.
3. Apply cost-benefit analysis concepts and methods to analyse real-world policy problems.
4. Critically analyse cost-benefit analyses conducted by others.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of a cultural impact assessment, including Te Tiriti, and its relationship to cost-benefit analysis.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.


Course Coordinator

Philip Gunby


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Assignment 1 5% Assignment 1
Assignment 2 5% Assignment 2
Tutorial discussion participation 10% Tutorial discussion participation
CBA project 30% CBA project
Final Exam 50% Final Exam

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $868.00

International fee $4,075.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Department of Economics and Finance .

All ECON346 Occurrences

  • ECON346-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023