'Economic valuation methodologies and their application to cultural heritage,' J Kaminski and JMcLoughlin, a chapter in Heritage Impact 2005: Proceedings of the First International Symposium on the Socio-economic Impact of Cultural Heritage, eds J McLoughlin, J Kaminski and B Sodagar. EPOCH through Archaeolingua, Hungary, 2006, pp 8-27, ISBN 963 8046 66 X
My expert input to this study builds on the research into the problems of capturing the impact of non-market priced variables, including the iconic value of cultural heritage sites and the ways in which ICT can help in creating added value to investments in cultural heritage. The research group to which I belong to seeks to provide models to assist owners and managers of monuments, sites and museums to make business decisions on technological investments and to improve policy makers’ understanding of the necessary conditions for successful investment. Introducing the Heritage Impact 2005 volume on the socio-economic value of heritage, this study, to which I contributed my specialist knowledge, reviewed the emergent history of the applications of economic valuation techniques to cultural heritage. It grouped techniques under a number of headings: 'Conventional economic and financial analyses' (Financial; economic; and Cost-benefit analyses), 'Revealed preference techniques' (Hedonic pricing; and travel cost analyses), 'Stated preference techniques' (Contingent valuation; and choice modelling), 'Benefit transfer' (Unit value transfer); and 'Qualitative approaches'. Each technique was analysed for its advantages and limitations and commented on known applications to cultural heritage. Furthermore, each technique was evaluated for its relevance to the impact of ICT at heritage sites. The limitations of classical methodologies in the field of cultural economics highlighted in this chapter paved the way for the research undertaken by the group in defining methods for assessing socio economic impact of cultural heritage assets and investment in ICT to enhance access to them. The EPOCH work in this area was described by the EU reviewers of EPOCH project (November 2005) as 'groundbreaking' – a clear testament to the significance they attached to the research. My socio-economic research complements the work of other researchers in the Cultural Heritage group.
Cultural heritage sites have many impacts of different types and sorts on the community these vary greatly depending on the actual sites its offer and the recipients, some of which are very difficult to capture. For example in capturing the aesthetic value of an architectural heritage site can have an important impact on the community.