Some Norwegian Politicians’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis
Members of the Norwegian Parliament were interviewed about their use of cost-benefit analysis in the political treatment of a road investment plan. Most respondents found the cost-benefit ratio useful as a screening device to pick projects requiring closer political attention, but few seemed to actually use it to rank projects. Attitudes towards cost-benefit analysis varied along the left-right political axis, with politicians to the left being the most sceptical. These findings are consistent with a hypothesis that politicians rationally maximize subjective, but different, perceptions of social welfare.