Registration and fee

You will be given instructions for course registration in the MOOC online learning environment.

  • Students and international students at the University of Helsinki can enrol on the course with their University of Helsinki username.
  • If you do not have a Finnish personal identity code and / or an online banking ID, please contact the University of Helsinki Admission Services in order to register for the course.


This course is a master level course.

A good complement to this course is the course AGERE-003 Valuation.

A good complement to this course is the course Environmental Valuation.

To familiarize the student with the basic methods of cost-benefit analysis (hereafter CBA) and their application to the evaluation of projects and policies. By the end of the course students should be able to:

1. Estimate the impacts and value the outcomes of projects using market prices, as well as have a very basic understanding of how outcomes that are not as easily measured in monetary terms are valued

2. Calculate the net present value of a project.

3. Understand the impact of the choice of the discount rate on the net present value of a project, illustrate and critically assess the different theories regarding the choice of the discount rate

4. Understand how uncertainty is incorporated into cost-benefit analysis and perform both partial and Montecarlo sensitivity analysis.

5. Understand how distributional issues can be incorporated into cost-benefit analysis and perform a simple distributionally weighted cost-benefit analysis

6. Understand the difference between cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis and critically appraise the advantages and limitations of these two methods.

7. Understand, illustrate and critically appraise the philosophical and ethical underpinnings of costbenefit analysis.

8. Critically assess cost-benefit analyses and distinguish a well-conducted cost-benefit analysis from a poor one.

  1. Textbook The required textbook is: Boardman, A.E., D.H. Greenberg, A.R. Vining, and D.L. Weimer. 2011. Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice (Fourth Edition). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson. (Hereafter Boardman et al.)
  2. Other required reading materials will include peer-reviewed articles and reports and will be available on Moodle either directly or as a link to the University library resources.

Supplementary readings will be indicated at the during the course though Moodle

Final exam and grading: the final exam will be an online exam including questions similar to those you encountered in the online formative tests. The grade for the exam will be 1-5 (1 = pass, 5 = excellent).

How you will work in this course: the course is divided into different topics. As there is a progression from one topic to the other, please start from topic one and work your way to the end of the course. For each topic, you will find lecture videos and other learning materials. For some topics there will be also online tests that will help you to evaluate your understanding of the topic and to prepare for the final exam. These tests are formative only, meaning that they will not contribute to your final grade.

Online examinations on MOOC:

You don’t have to registrate to online examinations.

More information:

Replaces the course 863010 Cost-Benefit Analysis 5 cr.