European Transport vol:47 issue:April 2011 pages:3-24
We demonstrate that multi-criteria analysis (MCA), though initially developed in the operations research field, can be usefully applied within the context of the stakeholder-driven or institutional approach to transport project evaluation. We first compare the features of the institutional and neo-classical approaches to economic evaluation. We then identify a number of conditions to be fulfilled for the institutional approach to result in a social optimum that is neutral from a distributional perspective. Such an optimum may not have been intentionally pursued, but may eventually arise as a by-product of the actions of self-interested, individual stakeholder groups. We illustrate the relevance of our approach through a number of recent case studies. Policy makers can use our findings as an input for designing formal decision-making processes, geared towards including stakeholder objectives in transport project evaluation.