Table of Contents

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 31: Preliminary valuation of a cultural heritage site of global significance: a Delphi contingent valuation study

Richard T. Carson, Michael B. Conaway and Ståle Navrud

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


The relatively few studies that have tried to estimate the economic value of preserving and restoring cultural heritage show that these public goods have substantial social benefits (Navrud and Ready, 2002; Noonan, 2003), and that the social benefits of restoration and preservation can exceed the social costs (Tran Huu and Navrud, 2008). A review of cultural heritage valuation studies show mean annual willingness-to-pay (WTP) per household for heritage access or conservation varying from 0.01 per cent to 0.3 per cent of per capita GNP (gross national product)(Pearce et al., 2002). Benefits may derive from the use of the resources (e.g. visiting historic cities, buildings, monuments and archaeological sites), or may be unrelated to any use but simply arise from the knowledge that cultural heritage exists, that they will be available for enjoyment by other people, future generations and for our own possible future use. These latter non-use (or passive use) benefits may well extend beyond country borders, and have been found to make up a significant portion of the total economic value of cultural heritage. Environmental valuation techniques like the Revealed Preference Techniques of the Travel Cost (TC) method and the Hedonic Price (HP) method can be used to value cultural heritage, but Stated Preference Methods (SP) like the Contingent Valuation (CV) method, seem to be most appropriate in terms of their capability of capturing the potentially largest benefit component; the non-use values.

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