Incorporating the value of changes in price volatility into cost-benefit analysis-an application to oil prices in the transport sector
Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2010
This paper contains a tentative suggestion of how to take into account the value of changes in price volatility in real world cost-benefit analyses. Price volatility is an important aspect of security of supply which first of all concerns physical availability, but assuming that consumers are risk averse, security of supply can also be viewed as a matter of avoiding oscillations in consumption originating from volatile prices of for instance oil. When the government makes transport-related choices on behalf of the consumers, the effect on oscillations in general consumption should be included in the policy assessment taking into account the most significant correlations between prices of alternative fuels and between fuel prices and consumption in general. In the present paper, a method of valuing changes in price volatility based on portfolio theory is applied to some very simple transport-related examples. They indicate that including the value of changes in price volatility often makes very little difference to the results of cost-benefit analyses, but more work has to be done on quantifying, among other things, consumers’ risk aversion and the background standard deviation in total consumption before firm conclusions can be drawn.
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- Cost-benefit analysis, Supply security, Price volatility