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Who visits the museums? A comparison between stated preferences and observed effects of entrance fees

Elina Lampi and Matilda Orth

No 298, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

Abstract: This study investigates whether the introduction of an entrance fee affects visitor composition at a state funded museum in Sweden. While entrance to the museum was still free, we conducted a survey to collect information about visitor characteristics and used the Contingent Valuation (CV) method to measure visitors’ willingness to pay (WTP) for a visit. The results of the CV survey show that even a very low entrance fee level results in a significant reduction in several target groups that the museum has policy directives to reach. Additionally, we conducted another survey after the introduction of the fee. Thus, we have a unique opportunity to test the validity of CV in the context of a cultural good. The comparison between the predicted results from the CV and the observed change in visitor composition after the introduction of the fee implies that CV does predict a majority of the changes successfully.

Keywords: free entrance; visitor composition; museum; natural experiment; stated preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D12 H41 Z11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2008-04-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-pbe and nep-tur
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4)

Published in Kyklos, 2009, pages 85-102.

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Journal Article: Who Visits the Museums? A Comparison between Stated Preferences and Observed Effects of Entrance Fees (2009) Downloads
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