Some members of the industrial marketing profession may not realize that their efforts in creating new markets and facilitating communication between producers and consumers are grist to the mill of economic theory. One example is that observed market prices are very often taken as measures of social value in benefit/cost analyses which purport to balance economic and social benefits against economic and social disbenefits. Furthermore benefit/cost analysis is often used when a decision is to be made on internalization of social cost within an enterprise. For example, should a manufacturer be asked to pay for the cost of pollution to his neighborhood - even though he is a provider of needed employment for his neighbors? In this article, David Conn outlines, in easily digestible form, some of the basic considerations and tenets used in the evaluation of social costs and benefits. We hope out readers will find time to read his article, even though it may appear that the subject is not directly relevant to "hard" industrial marketing, because the future repercussion of environmental laws, like the U.S.A's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) f 1969, on industrial processes (including marketing) is likely to be considerable. The serious professional market analyst will at least learn something of the unfamiliar nomenclature in which the arguments for and against certain industrial process are likely to be waged in the future.


Urban, Community and Regional Planning



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