Trade-off/Positional Analysis (with a Rawlsian Approach to Equity) as an Alternative to Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) in Socio-technical Decisions
Author(s)Hall, Ralph P.; Ashford, Nicholas A.
This paper introduces a hybrid trade-off/positional analysis framework as an alternative to cost-benefit analysis (CBA). As a decision-support tool, the proposed framework  allows decision-makers not to monetize or aggregate non-monetary factors over time;  invites the entrance of stakeholders into the debate since there is greater transparency as to who benefits and who is harmed by a particular policy/program/project;  enables analysts to undertake a comparative analysis of alternatives over time; and  takes into account the important role of technological change in shaping the state and performance of a system. In addition, a Rawlsian approach to incorporating equity into decision-making is advocated.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
ESD Working Papers;ESD-WP-2006-12