Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

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New Press, 2005 - Business & Economics - 277 pages
3 Reviews
A timely and much needed corrective to the current infatuation with cost-benefit analysis and the derelict logic used to defend it. As clinical as it sounds to express the value of human lives, health, or the environment in cold dollars and cents, cost-benefit analysis requires it. More disturbingly, this approach is being embraced by a growing number of politicians and conservative pundits as the most reasonable way to make many policy decisions regarding public health and the environment. By systematically refuting the economic algorithms and illogical assumptions that cost-benefit analysts flaunt as fact, Priceless tells a "gripping story about how solid science has been shoved to the backburner by bean counters with ideological blinders" (In These Times). Ackerman and Heinzerling argue that decisions about health and safety should be made "to reflect not economists' numbers, but democratic values, chosen on moral grounds. This is a vividly written book, punctuated by striking analogies, a good deal of outrage, and a nice dose of humor" (Cass Sunstein, The New Republic). Essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of human health and environmental protection, Priceless "shines a bright light on obstacles that stand in the way of good government decisions" (Public Citizen News).

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wisemetis - LibraryThing

Some pretty interesting critiques of the cost-benefit analysis that permeates the world we live in. I agree with the author but it's nothing really new to me. I think I've been reading too much in ... Read full review

Review: Priceless: On Knowing The Price Of Everything And The Value Of Nothing

User Review  - Az - Goodreads

econ assignment. very interesting and very well written. nice explanations, solid examples. i'm so glad i get to read this alongside my textbook (which is fantastically boring) Read full review

About the author (2005)

Frank Ackerman is senior research fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) US Center. He is an economist and has written extensively about the economics of climate change and other environmental problems. He is a funder and member of the settering committee of Economists for Equity and Environment, and a member scholar of the Centre for Progressive Reform. Frank received his Ph.D in economics from Harvard University in 1975.

Lisa Heinzerling is a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center. She is currently on a leave of absence, serving as senior climate policy counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency.

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