PLANNING PROBLEMS WITH MULTIDIMENSIONAL CONSEQUENCES

THE MULTIPLE COST AND BENEFIT CONSEQUENCES STEMMING FROM PROGRAM SELECTION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A PLANNING PROCESS ARE DISCUSSED. PLANNING DECISIONS INVOLVE MULTIDIMENSIONAL CONSEQUENCES, WHICH MAY INCLUDE BOTH EXPLICIT PROGRAM GOALS AND DIRECT COSTS AS WELL AS SPILLOVER EFFECTS. MULTIDIMENSIONALITY PRESENTS A PROBLEM IN DECISION-MAKING BECAUSE CHOICE OF A BEST PROGRAM ALTERNATIVE IMPLIES ABILITY TO COMPARE CONSEQUENCES IN LIGHT OF SOME DECISION CRITERION. AN APPROACH IS PRESENTED CONSISTING OF A SEQUENCE OF INCREASING LEVELS OF MEASUREMENT. THIS APPROACH CAN SIMPLIFY THE FINAL DECISION PROBLEM BY DROPPING OUT SOME ALTERNATIVES AT EARLY STAGES IN THE ANALYSIS AND MAKING FINER MEASUREMENTS ON THE REMAINING ALTERNATIVES. THE FOLLOWING GENERAL POINTS ARE OUTLINED: (1) SUCCESSIVELY HIGHER LEVELS OF UTILITY VALUATION MAY BE MADE ON MULTIDEMSIONAL DECISION CONSEQUENCES, (2) SUCCESSIVELY HIGHER MEASUREMENT LEVELS SHOULD PRODUCE AN ECONOMY OF TOTAL EFFORT SINCE SOME ALTERNATIVES ARE ELIMINATED AT EARLY STAGES OF ANALYSIS AND FINER MEASUREMENTS ARE MADE ON FEWER ALTERNATIVES, (3) THE PROBLEM ANALYSIS IS REDUCED LARGELY TO PAIRED COMPARISONS OF CONSEQUENCES RATHER THAN DIRECT COMPARISONS AMONG THE MANY CONSEQUENCES AND ALTERNATIVES, (4) ALL LEVELS OF UTILITY MEASUREMENT DESCRIBED CAN HANDLE CONSEQUENCES INVOLVING BOTH BENEFITS AND COSTS, BOTH QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE SCALES, AND MIXED NATURAL UNITS, (5) INFORMATION SENSITIVITIES MAY BE REVEALED IN THE COURSE OF ANALYSIS, AS IN A HIGHWAY EXAMPLE PRESENTED, (6) PROCEDURES DESCRIBED MAY HELP TO AVOID UNWARRANTED ACTIONS SUCH AS DROPPING SOME SECONDARY COSTS OR BENEFITS, AND (7) AT A GIVEN LEVEL OF CONSEQUENCE VALUATION BELOW THE INTERVAL SCALE, THE ANALYSIS OFTEN POINTS OUT SELECTED COST OR BENEFIT MEASUREMENTS THAT NEED REFINING SO THE VALUATION EFFORT CAN PROCEED.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 36, No 2, PP 112-119, 8 TAB
  • Authors:
    • Vedder, J
  • Publication Date: 1970-3

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00241321
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 1 1970 12:00AM