Use of value functions in environmental decisions
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Value functions are devices that allow discrete analyses of environmental impacts to be reconciled to a single quantitative scale of preference. The values obtained can then be “weighted” and combined into measures of the relative desirability of policy alternatives. However, for this methodology to be valid, the set of impacts used must satisfy a number of conditions; and whether or not these are met depends on how the impacts are selected and characterized. This paper generalizes instances where the conditions may be violated and how they may be resolved, and concludes with a few thoughts on how the methodology might be adapted to the routine of bureaucracy.
Key wordsDecision analysis Environmental decisions Quantitative methods Policy analysis
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