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Accounting for Culture September 2003“This thesis examines how culture and cultural events should be valued within the policy process. The framework one chooses to assess the level of costs and benefits associated with possible policy projects affects the outcome of those values. This may lead to systemic biases against certain types of projects and in favour of others. When using an economic impact analysis or typical cost-benefits analysis type framework, projects with “intangible” or public good benefits components may appear less desirable to society than they actually are. Policy makers compensate for this discrepancy between calculated values and the intuitively perceived higher value of culture by making ad hoc provisions for cultural funding, a solution which often leaves culture in a precarious position. This thesis attempts to address this problem by proposing a more comprehensive social cost-benefit analysis framework for the assessment of policy projects.”

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