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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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Maddison & Terry Foster, 2003. "Valuing congestion costs in the British Museum," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 173-190, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:55:y:2003:i:1:p:173-190
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    Cited by:

    1. 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 ersa06p678, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Juan Prieto-Rodríguez & Víctor Fernández-Blanco, 2006. "Optimal pricing and grant policies for museums," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 30(3), pages 169-181, December.
    3. Victoria Ateca Amestoy, 2013. "Demand for cultural heritage," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage, chapter 4, pages i-i Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2006. "The Making of Cultural Policy: A European Perspective," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    5. Frey, Bruno S. & Meier, Stephan, 2006. "The Economics of Museums," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    6. Bruno S. Frey & Lasse Steiner, 2010. "Pay as you go: a new proposal for museum pricing," IEW - Working Papers 485, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    7. repec:eee:touman:v:31:y:2010:i:2:p:213-220 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Dominic Rohner & Anna Winestein & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Ich Bin Auch ein Lemming: Herding and Consumption Capital in Arts and Culture," IEW - Working Papers 270, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    9. repec:kap:jculte:v:42:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10824-016-9286-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Shabbar Jaffry & Alexandros Apostolakis, 2011. "Evaluating individual preferences for the British Museum," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 35(1), pages 49-75, February.
    11. 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, , vol. 45(12), pages 2884-2903, December.
    12. 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 attraction:
      ," MPRA Paper 37622, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Durán, Roi & Farizo, Begoña A. & Vázquez, María Xosé, 2015. "Conservation of maritime cultural heritage: A discrete choice experiment in a European Atlantic Region," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 356-365.
    14. repec:kap:jculte:v:41:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10824-017-9300-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. JG. Brida & M. Pulina & E. Riaño, 2010. "Visitors' experience in a modern art museum: a structural equation model," Working Paper CRENoS 201026, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    16. Chen, Chiang-Ming & Chen, Yen-Chien & Tsai, Yi-Chun, 2016. "Evaluating museum free admission policy," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 156-159.
    17. Douglas Noonan, 2003. "Contingent Valuation and Cultural Resources: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Literature," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 27(3), pages 159-176, November.
    18. David Maddison, 2004. "Causality and Museum Subsidies," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 28(2), pages 89-108, May.
    19. Silvia Fedeli & Michele Santoni, 2006. "The Government's Choice of Bureaucratic Organisation: An Application to Italian State Museums," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 30(1), pages 41-72, March.

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