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Using choice experiments to value a world cultural heritage site: Reflections on the experimental design


  • Lina Lourenço-Gomes

    (University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD))

  • Lígia M. Costa Pinto

    (University of Minho)

  • João Rebelo

    (University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD))


In the context of public amenities, whose benefits of preservation are not totally reflected by the market, the valuation of cultural heritage has given primacy to the contingent valuation method, with very few attempts being made to valuation via the discrete choice experiments technique (DCE). In the present paper, from among the various phases of the DCE conception, particular emphasis is given to the way in which the attributes levels are combined into alternatives and how they are allocated into choice sets (experimental design step). In order to configure hypothetical scenarios relating to the conservation of a World Heritage cultural landscape, this paper applies both the experimental design strategies identified in the literature review as commonly applied in DCE to value cultural items, as well as D-optimal processes, which proved to be advantageous both in terms of statistical efficiency and in the information required (number of choice sets).

Suggested Citation

  • Lina Lourenço-Gomes & Lígia M. Costa Pinto & João Rebelo, 2013. "Using choice experiments to value a world cultural heritage site: Reflections on the experimental design," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 16, pages 303-332, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:16:y:2013:n:2:p:303-332

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    More about this item


    discrete choice experiments; experimental design; valuation of cultural heritage;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations


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