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How do we value or undervalue culture?


Is it possible to put a value on culture, and if so how?


Can we measure culture outside of a monetary framework?


What are the limitations of existing econometric models of cultural valuation?


Hasan Bakhshi

Nick Chater
David Lan
Pier Luigi Sacco
Mr Hasan Bakhshi
Prof. Nick Chater
Dr David Lan
Prof. Pier Luigi Sacco

The Commission will ask what models of value and valuation are currently used to determine factors such as the quality, necessity, affordability, efficiency and effectiveness of art, and thereby the levels of investment. We will ask:

  • how effective are commonly used economic approaches to the value of cultural activity?
  • what are the social benefits of the arts, for instance to community cohesion?
  • how can we identify and evaluate the health benefits of culture?
  • to what extent do the arts improve our quality of life at home and at work?


  • To address the different dimensions of value in the cultural sector, combining economic methods with approaches from the humanities and social sciences;
  • To produce a series of beneficial recommendations on the most useful valuation models;
  • To offer a framework for discussing the value of culture and its relationship to cultural identity in a more rigorous and holistic manner.


Theme Two Events:

2 April 2014: Commissioner Day, Regent's University, London.

The Commissioners will hear evidence from a number of expert witnesses including Diane Coyle OBE (BBC Trust) and Steve Ball (Birmingham Rep). For more information, click here.