Edited by Ruth Towse
Chapter 54: Regulation
Ilde Rizzo This chapter explores some of the main issues related to the regulation of the cultural sector, with specific reference to heritage. As the range of activities in the cultural field raises so many different economic questions, not all of them can be dealt with in the space available. Therefore the analysis is restricted mainly to issues connected with built heritage. In the heritage field, the economic rationale for government intervention relies on the presence of market failure. Different mixes of government policy instruments – public expenditure, taxation and regulation – can be adopted according to prevailing economic and institutional settings; however, ‘regulation, in the sense of specific constraints or directives affecting behaviour, is possibly the most widely used tool in heritage conservation, despite the fact that in most circumstances it is the instrument least favoured by economists’ (Throsby, 1997, p. 19). Regulation may be used as an independent tool as well as a complement to or a substitute for other government policies (Giardina and Rizzo, 1994). The chapter focuses on the regulation of the built heritage, trying to address some basic questions – What should be regulated? Why? How? Who should regulate? What are the effects of regulation? – and to point out some policy implications. Attention will be devoted to the positive analysis1 of heritage regulation and to the features of the collective decision-making process. Regulatory tools Broadly speaking, regulation can be defined as non-monetary government intervention usually aimed at restricting or modifying the activities of economic agents in line with...
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