Who visits the museums? A comparison between stated preferences and observed effects of entrance fees
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.
University of Gothenburg. School of Business, Economics and Law
Department of Economics
museum, natural experiment
Working Papers in Economics