Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 49–75 | Cite as

Evaluating individual preferences for the British Museum

  • Shabbar Jaffry
  • Alexandros Apostolakis
Original Article


The paper focuses on funding issues facing arts and cultural resources worldwide. Inter alia, current public policy consensus encourages cultural resources to raise money from voluntary contributions at the gates in order to address some of the shortfall in public funding. The paper considers the British Museum, London, as a case study. The objectives of the paper are twofold. First, to elicit individual preferences for future managerial initiatives that could have an impact on visitors’ willingness to financially support cultural resources by making a voluntary contribution during their visit. Second, the study combines observed and unobserved heterogeneity in order to explain a greater source of variation on individuals’ decision-making process. Overall, the results provide directions for government policy into widening and deepening participation for the arts and culture. In addition, the results also provide support towards a reconsideration of curatorial procedures towards a motivational segmentation of demand for the arts and culture.


British Museum Choice modelling Voluntary contributions Preferences 

JEL Classification

C250 D010 Z110 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Portsmouth Business SchoolUniversity of PortsmouthPortsmouthUK

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