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.
Determining the Value of Cultural Goods: How much (or how little) does contingent valuation tell us?
What does CVM tell us about the value of cultural goods and services, and what does it leave out?
I aim to describe a new problem with contingent valuation studies, and to suggest the nature and severity of the difficulties in surmounting it.1 The source of the problem, in brief, is category-bound thinking. When people explore particular problems in isolation, they normalize them by comparing them to a cognitively accessible comparison set, consisting of cases from the same basic category.