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Measuring Cultural Value

This article, based on a speech by Hasan Bakhshi, makes the case for more rigorous valuation studies of cultural institutions.

This article, based on a speech by Hasan Bakhshi, makes the case for more rigorous valuation studies of cultural institutions.

Key findings:

  • We need more sophisticated public funding decisions for culture. This needs a much more rigorous attempt to value culture. 
  • There is a danger that more difficult-to-measure benefits, such as aesthetic, spiritual or social value, are under-emphasised in the cost-benefit calculus at the heart of public policy. This can make them seem lower priority.
  • The application of hard economics and understanding of cultural value need not be incongruous – as the Beyond Live study has shown.
  • Our cultural leaders must accept that if they want state funding then they must demonstrate value on the state’s terms, which naturally includes the economic.

Hasan Bakhshi's keynote speech was delivered at Culture Count: Measuring Cultural Value Forum, Customs House, Sydney, Australia, on 20 March 2012.

 

The speech focuses on why there has been such a dearth of valuation studies of cultural institutions, the dangers of the current state of affairs, and how the situation can be improved. 

 

Author:

Hasan Bakhshi

Authors

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Centre Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC); and Executive Director, Creative Economy and Data Analytics, Nesta

Hasan oversees Nesta's creative economy policy, research and practical work.

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