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strategic misrepresentation

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In planning and budgeting, the tendency for those presenting projects for approval knowingly to understate costs and overstate benefits. This is a matter of deliberate policy and thus distinct from optimism bias or simple miscalculation. Those who adopt such a policy would probably justify it as an expected part of the negotiation ‘game’ and argue that many worthwhile projects would never get approval if the true costs were revealed at the start.

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