Back to
English Articles
Publié le
Mercredi 02 Avril 2014
Public spending on investment represents approximately 15% of total investment in France. It concerns sectors essential for the development of our society, such as transport, energy, health and education.
Cost benefit assessments of public investments

Over the long term, sometimes on the scale of several centuries, these investments will shape the fundamental character of the country, the quality of its environment and its ability to meet future challenges. This underscores the importance of making decisions in the most informed manner possible, making the best evaluation of the benefits they will provide and the costs they will engender, especially since their funding is largely based on public funds, a scarce resource in general and even more so today. This explains why the State has long been concerned with developing and regularly revising the methods for carrying out these evaluations.

The commission responsible for the work presented here is part of a long tradition, beginning with the first reports prepared by Marcel Boiteux in 1994 and 2001 . This collection of reports established the general doctrine and enabled progress on specific subjects, such as the discount rate, taking risks into account and the shadow price of carbon.

That doctrine is based on simple principles that were conceived long ago (see box below). They consist of assessing the effects of each project for the nation as a whole, evaluating the gains in productivity or production capacity made available to enterprises, as well as increases in consumption of products and improvements in quality of life provided to citizens, and comparing these effects with the costs of investment.

  • Chairman: Émile Quinet
  • Rapporteur General: Luc Baumstark
  • Rapporteurs: Julien Bonnet, Aurélien Croq, Géraldine Ducos, David Meunier, Aude Rigard-Cerison, Quentin Roquigny
  • Coordinators: Dominique Auverlot, Aude Rigard-Cerison
  • With the support of SETRA: Charlotte Coupé, Xavier Delache, Hélène Le Maître

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter, In Brief


Émile Quinet
Tous nos travaux sur  :