Efforts to cut funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and declining budgets for state arts agencies have raised questions about how much individuals value the arts. This paper applies the contingent valuation method to assess this value, using surveys of random households and of arts patrons in Kentucky.
Can Contingent Valuation results substitute market results in the field of cultural policy? My answer is a clear "no". No, the data generated by contingent valuation surveys on the amount of dollars which citizens are willing to pay for cultural goods cannot be used to improve public policy.
Is CVM an appropriate evaluation methodology to support national public policy and decision-making in the contemporary arts?
In this paper I would like to address broader questions to do with the kinds of cultural value and evaluation problems experienced by organisations like the Arts Council of Ireland, and some of the constraints that might limit the relevance of CVM from our perspective.
Many people argue that public art contains an element of "bequest value": value derived by people today from the expected enjoyment of the art by future generations. This benefit, many believe, can only be uncovered vis-à-vis non-market valuation mechanisms such as contingent valuation (CV) surveys.
Within the context of an empirical study undertaken using valuation techniques it is shown that the congestion cost posed by the marginal visitor to the British Museum is £8.05. Notwithstanding the argument that visits to the museum may possess external benefits, this points to the desirability of instigating charges for admission.