A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition
Show Less

A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition

Edited by Ruth Towse

The second edition of this widely acclaimed and extensively cited collection of original contributions by specialist authors reflects changes in the field of cultural economics over the last eight years. Thoroughly revised chapters alongside new topics and contributors bring the Handbook up to date, taking into account new research, literature and the impact of new technologies in the creative industries.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 32: Heritage

Françoise Benhamou


Françoise Benhamou The economics of the built cultural heritage has a particular status in the field of cultural economics. Heritage goods share some characteristics with other cultural goods, especially uniqueness and their perception as merit goods. They also differ from other cultural goods because of durability and irreversibility: if a historical building is transformed or destroyed, it cannot be recreated or restored in its initial shape. From this point of view, heritage economics is close to environmental economics. They share the preoccupation with sustainability, and the existence of an international demand linked to tourism. Heritage goods generate mixed feelings among researchers. Publications are not very numerous, probably because of many methodological difficulties: empirical issues lack data, and comparative studies are limited by the very specificity of national situations. Moreover, there is a kind of soft consensus in favour of public regulation, while at the same time subsidization is criticized for its inefficiency. Definition Heritage includes different forms of cultural capital ‘which embodies the community’s value of its social, historical, or cultural dimension’ (Throsby, 1997, p. 15). In this chapter we emphasize only the question of built heritage, in the restrictive sense of immovable heritage, including archaeological sites, historic buildings and historic urban centres (or some part of them). A minimal definition would identify the built heritage as the buildings and monuments inherited from the past, with a cultural or historical dimension justifying their preservation for next generations, but also contemporary monuments whose symbolic or cultural value is high, such...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.