Fundamentals of Cost Benefit Analysis

Course #MN3070

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 months


This course introduces you to economics as a social science and teaches you the tools of micro-economic analysis that are necessary to understand and conduct economic policy analyses. One of the key tools of economic analysis is Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). You will learn the utility as well as the challenges of using CBA to study the role of the public sector in our market economy. After a brief introduction to CBA, which includes motivating the need for conducting CBA in the public sector, we study the fundamental tools of microeconomics, including supply and demand, elasticity, market equilibrium, social welfare, the effects of government interventions in the economy, and how firms make decisions in competitive and non-competitive markets. We then turn to the study of how to conduct CBA and how to be critical consumers of such analyses.

Included in degrees & certificates

  • 192
  • 835
  • 836


  • MA2XXX College Algebra
  • equivalent

Learning Outcomes

Basic economic concepts:

1. Recognize and explain the key economic concepts used in Cost Benefit Analysis.

2. Articulate how people and countries benefit from specialization and trade.


3. Apply the supply-demand model to analyze how markets allocate resources using prices.

4. Explain how elasticity affects revenues and policy debates.

5. Analyze market efficiency and market outcomes under different government policies.

6. Evaluate when and how governments can negatively or positively affect markets.

7. Analyze how competition influences firms' production decisions, and pricing.


8. Explain the meaning and interpretation of the primary measures of the macro-economy (GDP, inflation, and unemployment) and their limitations.  

9. Explain the concept of inflation and its applications.

Cost benefit analysis:

10. Explain the basic steps of CBA

11. Given a cost benefit analysis of a public policy, evaluate the analysis in terms of its components, soundness, and limitations. 

Offerings database access
Asset Publisher

Academic Calendar

  •  09 Jun 2023

    Spring quarter last day of classes

  •  13 Jun 2023

    Spring quarter final examinations begin

  •  15 Jun 2023

    Spring quarter final examinations end