IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Determines The World Heritage List? An Econometric Analysis


  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Paolo Pamini
  • Lasse Steiner


The official intention of the UNESCO World Heritage List is to protect the global heritage. However, the existing List is highly imbalanced according to countries and continents. Historical reasons, such as historical GDP, population, and number of years of high civilization, have a significant impact on being included on the List. In addition, economic and political factors unrelated to the value of heritage, such as rent seeking by bureaucrats and politicians, the size of the tourist sector, the importance of media, the degree of federalism, and membership in the UN Security Council, influence the composition of the List.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey & Paolo Pamini & Lasse Steiner, 2011. "What Determines The World Heritage List? An Econometric Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2011-01, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2011-01

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full Text
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dreher, Axel & Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Vreeland, James Raymond, 2009. "Development aid and international politics: Does membership on the UN Security Council influence World Bank decisions?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-18, January.
    2. Victor Ginsburgh, 2001. "Economics of arts and culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1869, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Bruno S. Frey & Paolo Pamini, 2009. "Making World Heritage Truly Global: The Culture Certificate Scheme," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    4. Bruno S. Frey & Lasse Steiner, 2010. "World Heritage List: does it make sense?," IEW - Working Papers 484, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. John M. Piotrowski & Rabah Arezki & Reda Cherif, 2009. "Tourism Specialization and Economic Development; Evidence from the UNESCO World Heritage List," IMF Working Papers 09/176, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the Eonomics of Art and Culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152412, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Francoise Benhamou, 1996. "Is increased public spending for the preservation of historic monuments inevitable? The French case," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 20(2), pages 115-131, June.
    8. Tisdell, Clem & Wilson, Clevo, 2002. "World Heritage Listing of Australian Natural Sites: Tourism Stimulus and Its Economic Value," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 27-49, June Spec.
    9. Tollison, Robert D, 1982. "Rent Seeking: A Survey," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 575-602.
    10. Axel Dreher, 2002. "Does Globalization Affect Growth?," Development and Comp Systems 0210004, EconWPA, revised 16 Jun 2003.
    11. Rizzo, Ilde & Throsby, David, 2006. "Cultural Heritage: Economic Analysis and Public Policy," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    12. V.A. Ginsburgh & D. Throsby (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    13. Streeten, Paul, 2006. "Culture and Economic Development," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    14. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
    15. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
    16. Towse, Ruth & Blaug, Mark, 1990. "The Current State of the British Economics Profession," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 227-236, March.
    17. Peacock, Alan & Rizzo, Ilde, 2008. "The Heritage Game: Economics, Policy, and Practice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199213177, June.
    18. Xavier Greffe, 1999. "La gestion du patrimoine culturel," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00272092, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bertacchini Enrico & Saccone Donatella, 2011. "The political economy of world heritage," EBLA Working Papers 201101, University of Turin.
    2. Axel Dreher & Vera Eichenauer & Kai Gehring, 2013. "Geopolitics, Aid and Growth," CESifo Working Paper Series 4299, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. David Wuepper & Marc Patry, 2017. "The World Heritage list: Which sites promote the brand? A big data spatial econometrics approach," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 41(1), pages 1-21, February.

    More about this item


    global public goods; world heritage; international organizations; international political economy; culture;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature
    • F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2011-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna-Lea Werlen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.