This seminar is especially addressed to non-economists, with the aim of demonstrating how potent and illuminating the economic perspective may be, but also warning about the possible misuse of economic concepts.
The objective of this seminar is to discuss the rationale of economic valuation techniques and to discuss their grounding principles, in order to test the validity of the approach. We shall discuss the state-of-the-art of economic valuation, from alternative theoretical angles, and especially the neoclassical economic paradigm and the emerging ecological-economic paradigm, paying particular attention to most recent theoretical developments and concrete applications. We shall try to understand the usefulness, but also the limits, of the underlying economic concepts.
Life cycle costing (LCC) has been developed as a tool aimed at supporting public administrations in decisions regarding public investments and public policies. In its original version, LCC paid special attention to financial expenditures that are related to a project along its lifetime, with the aim of allowing a better and more efficient allocation of public funds.
More recently, however, this focus has been expanded. It now encompasses not only the consequences on the public budget, but also those that affect the society as a whole, possibly including future generations and non-anthropocentric outcomes. This means including in the evaluation a whole range of “intangible” elements that have no immediate relation to market values, or are even reducible to monetary evaluation: from pollution to climate change, from biodiversity to human life.
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