Making Facts and Telling Furphies with Economic Modelling: Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Post-Truth Era

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    Classic post-war ‘nation-building’ project proposals were generally subjected to detailed analysis. Selected Australian case studies reveal a contrasting, post-truth approach to evaluation in more recent times, with governments ignoring or avoiding professional expertise when promoting their favoured projects and policies. A lack of formal standards for economic evaluation in Australia, such as those promulgated by Congress and presidents in the US, are a partial explanation. A concomitant hollowing-out of public service expertise in economic analysis has also occurred. In particular, public-sector agencies have lost much of their capability to properly understand and assess evaluations carried out on their behalf by commercial consultants. An effective antidote to the post-truth approach in evaluation would be the production and publication of analyses for all major government policy and project proposals, as well as the development of a standardised analytical framework and training for public servants.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHybrid Public Policy Innovations: Contemporary Policy Beyond Ideology
    Editors Mark Fabian and Robert Breunig
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherRoutledge
    Edition1st edition
    ISBN (Print)9780815371809
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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