Museernes økonomiske værdi for den danske befolkning

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The purpose of this article is to assess and discuss the economic value of the Danish museums as valuated by the general Danish population. The museums are largely financed by public funds, and they form a central part of cultural policy in Denmark as well as in most other countries. According to the Museums Act, museums must collect, register, preserve, research and disseminate - popularly called the 5 pillars of the Museums Act.
The applied method used is Contingent Valuation (CVM), which is suitable for economic valuation of public goods and non-market values. The method has been widely used in cultural economic research, and there exists a number of international studies where the method has been used on museums. This is the first time the method is applied to Danish museums. The article is based on data collected in a large questionnaire survey to 4,450 representative Danes in May 2020. 2,003 responded to the questionnaire, corresponding to a response rate of 45. Subsequently, data from the questionnaire have been merged with register data from Statistics Denmark at the level of the individual level in the form of information on income, employment, gender, age, family status etc. This makes it possible to shed light on interesting differences in the perception of values across different population groups.
Despite the limitations of the method, which are primarily due to the fact that the answers are hypothetical, the results in this article show that the method gives plausible results and that the museums have significant non-market value and importance for the non-users. In particular, the museums’ activities in the form of collecting, registering, preserving and researching represent non-market values such as existence values and bequest values, which also the non-users of museums can benefit from, and which significant proportion of the non-users/infrequent users seem to value. This is important information when it comes to assessing the extent to which public support to the Danish museums is in line with the population's preferences. The results can represent useful information for the museums, cultural managers and politicians, as they can provide an indication of why the population attaches value to museums and how big these values are in economic terms.
Original languageDanish
JournalNordisk Kulturpolitisk Tidskrift
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)8–25
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Museums
  • Contingent valuation
  • Non-market values
  • Non-users
  • Public goods
  • Externalities

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