Valuing Cultural Heritage

Valuing Cultural Heritage

Applying Environmental Valuation Techniques to Historic Buildings, Monuments and Artifacts

Edited by Ståle Navrud and Richard C. Ready

What value do we place on our cultural heritage, and to what extent should we preserve historic and culturally important sites and artefacts from the ravages of weather, pollution, development and use by the general public? This innovative book attempts to answer these important questions by exploring how non-market valuation techniques – used extensively in environmental economics – can be applied to cultural heritage. The book includes twelve comprehensive case studies that estimate public values for a diverse set of cultural goods, including English cathedrals, Bulgarian monasteries, rock paintings in Canada, statues in the US, and a medieval city in Africa.

Chapter 15: Review of Existing Studies, Their Policy Use and Future Research Needs

David Pearce, Susana Mourato and Ståle Navrud

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, public policy


David Pearce, Susana Mourato, Ståle Navrud and Richard C. Ready REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE STUDIES In spite of the obvious links between questions of the conservation of natural and cultural goods, there have been surprisingly few applications of non-market valuation techniques to cultural assets. Only a small number of studies, using almost exclusively stated preference techniques, have been applied to cultural heritage goods. Many of these studies are described in detail in the previous chapters. Table 15.1 presents an overview of 27 studies valuing mainly historical buildings, monuments and artifacts. We have also included a few examples of contingent valuation studies of other cultural goods and services, such as museums and performing and visual arts. All of these studies apply stated preference techniques, which are unique in their capability to measure both use and non-use values arising from cultural capital. As is evident from the table, not only is the number of existing studies small, but the studies also span a wide range of goods and situations. Six of the sites studied are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Table 15.2 classifies the studies according to the type of benefit estimated and the type of cultural good/activity studied. Here we have differentiated among different types of cultural heritage goods, including single buildings, groups of buildings, monuments, archaeological areas and artifacts, and other goods including performing arts and museums. It is apparent from this table that cultural heritage is a complex, multifaceted good. Not only is there a...

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