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Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage

Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage

Elgar original reference

Edited by Ilde Rizzo and Anna Mignosa

Cultural heritage is a complex and elusive concept, constantly evolving through time, and combining cultural, aesthetic, symbolic, spiritual, historical and economic values. The Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage outlines the contribution of economics to the design and analysis of cultural heritage policies and to addressing issues related to the conservation, management and enhancement of heritage.

Chapter 3: Cultural heritage policies: a comparative perspective

Arjo Klamer, Anna Mignosa and Lyudmila Lyudmila

Subjects: development studies, tourism, economics and finance, cultural economics, public sector economics, environment, tourism, geography, tourism


The role of the arts and culture in the new economy is changing. This has broadened the scope of cultural policy study and practice, and modified its focus. The emergence of a broader concept of culture, where the relevance of creative arts expanded within the scope of cultural industries reflects the processes of democratization of culture and its importance to the economy and society. The idea received widespread attention at the European level in the context of the Lisbon Agenda, which aimed at turning Europe into ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion’ (Council of Europe, 2000). Policymakers and scholars have increasingly focused on ‘new’ areas, such as cultural industries, the creative class and cultural cities, and on their potential for national and local development, arguing that the arts and culture promote creativity, creativity promotes innovation and innovation promotes economic benefits (Madden and Bloom, 2001). Within this process of economization of cultural policy, cultural significance alone is not an argument for government intervention. Accordingly, conducting cultural policy today requires a better understanding of the complex interrelation between the economy and culture, with respect to both the cultural and economic values of cultural goods and services. The evolution of cultural policies encompasses these changes.

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