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Valuing the Arts: A Contingent Valuation Approach

  • Eric Thompson
  • Mark Berger
  • Glenn Blomquist
  • 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 25per cent or 50 per cent decrease in the number of performances. Among arts patron households, the mean WTP ranges from $61 to $132.Consumer demand for arts performances in large part follows a predictable pattern. 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 percent decline in performances. The mean WTP rises with income, and arts patron households have a much higher WTP than all households. WTP rises with on-site use factors such as frequency of attendance. The WTP also rises for arts patrons households with off-site use such as watching arts events on television or reading about the arts in newspapers and magazines. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1014426202110
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Cultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 87-113

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:26:y:2002:i:2:p:87-113
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  1. Johannesson, Magnus, et al, 1999. "Calibrating Hypothetical Willingness to Pay Responses," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 21-32, April.
  2. Robert G. Ethier & Gregory L. Poe & William D. Schulze & Jeremy Clark, 2000. "Comparison of Hypothetical Phone and Mail Contingent Valuation Responses for Green-Pricing Electricity Programs," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(1), pages 54-67.
  3. John C. Whitehead & Thomas J. Hoban, 1999. "Testing for Temporal Reliability in Contingent Valuation with Time for Changes in Factors Affecting Demand," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(3), pages 453-465.
  4. Karen Blumenschein & Magnus Johannesson & Glenn C. Blomquist & Bengt Liljas & Richard M. O’Conor, 1998. "Experimental Results on Expressed Certainty and Hypothetical Bias in Contingent Valuation," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 169-177, July.
  5. Blumenschein, Karen & Johannesson, Magnus & Yokoyama, Krista K. & Freeman, Patricia R., 2001. "Hypothetical versus real willingness to pay in the health care sector: results from a field experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 441-457, May.
  6. Laura O. Taylor & Ronald G. Cummings, 1999. "Unbiased Value Estimates for Environmental Goods: A Cheap Talk Design for the Contingent Valuation Method," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 649-665, June.
  7. O'Conor, Richard M. & Blomquist, Glenn C., 1997. "Measurement of consumer-patient preferences using a hybrid contingent valuation method," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 667-683, December.
  8. Robin S. Gregory, 2000. "Valuing Environmental Policy Options: A Case Study Comparison of Multiattribute and Contingent Valuation Survey Methods," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(2), pages 151-173.
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