Baldin A., Bille T. (2023).
The lost value for users of cultural institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic: a life satisfaction approach
International Review of Economics volume 70, pages257–281 (2023)
Studies related to the assessment of the non-market values of culture typically employ methods based on stated or revealed preferences. In this paper, we implement a new emerging non-market valuation technique, namely the life satisfaction approach. In particular, we quantify in monetary values, the additional utility that people benefit from cultural experiences, as well as the additional disutility suffered by cultural consumers specifically due to the closure of cultural organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the pandemic provides a unique setting. Using a survey conducted in Denmark in the spring of 2020, we confirm the link between cultural participation and well-being by estimating a life satisfaction model, instrumenting for both income and cultural participation to avoid simultaneity problems. Furthermore, we show that fervent cultural consumers have experienced an additional welfare loss during the lockdown period, controlling for all other known life dimensions affected by the pandemic. Our results aim to highlight the role of cultural participation in sustaining life satisfaction and, consequently, to support a well-being evidence-based cultural policy that facilitate cultural accessibility as a mean to increase the individual well-being.