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Valuing congestion costs in the British Museum

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  • David Maddison
  • Terry Foster

Abstract

Museums are potentially congestible resources because the exhibits they contain are, in any relevant sense of the word, irreproducible. Insofar as visitor congestion diminishes the value of individuals' visits it constitutes an additional reason for charging for admission to museums, albeit one not previously considered. A policy of free access to a museum containing unique treasures may dissipate the economic benefits of the museum. 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 GBP 8.05. External benefits may nonetheless play a crucial role in determining whether it is appropriate to charge. Insofar as congestion is a widespread phenomenon in important museums and galleries the issues raised in this paper as well as the methodology devised to determine congestion costs could have widespread application. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 55 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 173-190

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:55:y:2003:i:1:p:173-190

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Cited by:
  1. Shabbar Jaffry & Alexandros Apostolakis, 2011. "Evaluating individual preferences for the British Museum," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 49-75, February.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Lasse Steiner, 2010. "Pay as You Go: A New Proposal for Museum Pricing," CREMA Working Paper Series, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) 2010-10, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  3. JG. Brida & M. Pulina & E. Riaño, 2010. "Visitors’ experience in a modern art museum: a structural equation model," Working Paper CRENoS, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia 201026, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  4. Douglas Noonan, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Cultural Resources: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Literature," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 159-176, November.
  5. Silvia Fedeli & Michele Santoni, 2006. "The Government's Choice of Bureaucratic Organisation: An Application to Italian State Museums," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 41-72, March.
  6. Mirko Moro & Karen Mayor & Seán Lyons & Richard S J Tol, 2013. "Does the housing market reflect cultural heritage? A case study of Greater Dublin," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 45(12), pages 2884-2903, December.
  7. Dominic Rohner & Anna Winestein & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Ich bin auch ein Lemming: Herding and Consumption Capital in Arts and Culture," CREMA Working Paper Series, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) 2006-05, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Stephan Meier, . "The Economics of Museums," IEW - Working Papers, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich 149, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Brida, Juan Gabriel & Monterubbianesi, Pablo Daniel & Zapata Aguirre, Sandra, 2012. "Análisis de los factores que afectan la repetición de la visita a una atracción cultural: una aplicación al museo de Antioquia
    [Analysis of factors affecting repeat visit to a cultural attracti
    ," MPRA Paper 37622, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Juan Prieto-Rodríguez & Víctor Fernández-Blanco, 2006. "Optimal pricing and grant policies for museums," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 169-181, December.
  11. Frederick Van der Ploeg, 2005. "The Making of Cultural Policy: A European Perspective," CESifo Working Paper Series, CESifo Group Munich 1524, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Patrizia Riganti, 2006. "Tourists’ Satisfaction Vs. Residents’ Quality of Life in Medium Sized European Cities: A Conjoint Analysis Approach for Cultural Tourism’s Impact Assessment," ERSA conference papers, European Regional Science Association ersa06p678, European Regional Science Association.
  13. David Maddison, 2004. "Causality and Museum Subsidies," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 89-108, May.
  14. repec:ise:isegwp:wp142008 is not listed on IDEAS

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