Full text: Study week on the econometric approach to development planning

The fact that in my examples I did not mention the mainten- 
ance of full employment, say, or the relief of poverty is of no 
significance; I was not trying to list all the aims, either present 
or future, of economic policy. In practice we shall certainly 
have to begin with something narrower than we wish. Thus 
even if we succeed in getting policies for education and training 
or of regional development into the general picture, it will be 
some time before we can do the same for urban renewal, to 
say nothing of mental health or crime. Nevertheless I believe 
that our aims should ultimately cover the whole socio-economic 
Second, each objective must be expressed in sufficient detail 
to enable alternative methods of meeting it to be considered, 
and the demands which any of these methods places on the 
system to be worked out. In this way we can begin to compare 
objectives, and as a result make perhaps a better use of our 
Third, the existence of conflicts of interest should be reco- 
gnised and as far as possible faced. For example, two towns 
may compete with one another to attract, say, a new power 
station or motorway. The choice between them can be greatly 
improved by an analysis of its consequences. 
Fourth, policy makers should see that they have adequate 
information on which to base their decisions and should try 
to assess costs and benefits wherever possible. For this pur- 
pose, existing market prices are extremely useful; but they 
are insufficient, because many of the things we value are not 
priced on any market. Examples of this are uncongested roads 
and quiet surroundings: only recently has a partial attempt 
been made to put a price on road space by means of parking 
meters; and the cost of noise to health and productivity has 
so far received more attention from physiologists and psycho- 
logists than from politicians or economists. 
Two conclusions emerge from this summing up: there must 
be close cooperation between the policy maker and the model- 
'1] Stone - pag. 22

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