Literature Review of Cultural Heritage Economics - Focus on theoretical research of built heritage -

Author Name YAMADA Keigo (Consulting Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. May 2024 24-J-014
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Despite the utilization of cultural heritage sites and resources to encourage global tourism booms and regional revitalization, it is difficult to apply existing economic theories to cultural heritage resources, and particularly in terms of built heritage, leading to a scarcity of theoretical research in cultural heritage economics.

For this research, the author conducted a literature review of theoretical aspects in this field by dividing economic and cultural value into explicit and latent components.

Empirical studies have estimated mainly "explicit economic value," and some results may include "explicit cultural value." These components are the benefits that the current generation can enjoy. To ensure the conservation of cultural heritage resources, "latent economic value" and "latent cultural value" must both be taken into consideration.

Insufficient investment in site maintenance results in long-term reductions of latent values that are difficult to quantify with specific numbers. Though appropriate investment scales and specifics remain unclear, costs must be borne by the current generation, while benefits that arise from it are enjoyed by future generations. This structure could potentially lead to the destruction of cultural heritage sites, which justifies policy intervention regarding conservation issues. The concept of latent values aids in the systematization of theoretical research in this field.