Valuing the Arts: A Contingent Valuation Approach

Journal of Cultural Economics 2002 Eric Thompson, Mark Berger, Glenn Blomquist, and Steven Allen Government funding of the arts has received considerable attention in the United States in recent years. 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. Our analysis estimated a mean willingness to pay (WTP) among all Kentucky households from $6 to $27, depending on the estimation technique used and on whether the scenario discussed is to increase arts performances by 25 per cent, or to avoid a 25 per cent or 50 per cent decrease in the number of performances. The likelihood of respondents agreeing to make the donation that is requested rises as the size of the donation decreases. The likelihood is higher to avoid a 50 per cent decline in performances than to avoid a 25 per cent decline in performances.

Publication Information
Article Title: Valuing the Arts: A Contingent Valuation Approach
Journal: Journal of Cultural Economics (2002)
26, pp. 87-113
Author(s): Thompson, Eric
Researcher Information
Thompson, Eric
Thompson, Eric
Karl H. Nelson Professor of Economics
  • Bureau of Business Research
  • Regional Economics
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