Measuring unmeasured cultural heritage: Studies in honor of Professor Francesco Forte

Thursday, 17 March 2016: 10:30 AM
Michela Mantovani, Ph.D , Law and Economics, University "Mediterranea" Reggio Calabria, Reggio Calabria, Italy
Cultural heritage is a very important component of social capital.  Valuing cultural heritage has long been the subject of disagreement among economists and public finance theorists.  The primary point of contention concerns whether cultural heritage antiquities, artifacts, and  structures can be measured in monetary terms, i.e., placing a value on cultural heritage such as artifacts and like other commodities and other elements of social capital such as infrastructure.  Despite these quarrels, in order to protect and preserve differing aspects of cultural heritage, it is essential to know their value.  Realizing that precision is not always possible, developing tools for estimating various aspects of cultural heritage are generally recognized as essential.  Cultural heritage management is a business like any other an economic project with costs and benefits, although the cultural heritage belongs to public entities.

            Professor Mantovani’s presentation discusses her first studies with Prof. Francesco Forte which focused on:

1)      Indicators:  The analysis of a series of efficiency and effectiveness indicators regarding cultural firms which we have applied to museums.The trial was appreciated a lot and quoted by Prof. Alan Peacock, the most important European economist in the analysis of cultural heritage.

2)      The assessment of artistic visual arts. We have developed three theoretical tools, which are useful to managers of arts and cultural institutions to implement their policy and management decisions : ART MATRIX  Forte – Mantovani, endogenous and exogenous variables, Fuzzy Method.

3)       The art- matrix ( Forte- Mantovani ) was modeled according the Boston methodology . The four quadrants represents high and low values and high or low variability. The Boston matrix regards companies, products or listed shares in relation to their revenue streams. The “FM” Matrix considers only the value of  current and potential capital assets.

The values of artworks derived from the prices reached at international auctions are available with complete histories series since 1985.  These prices represent competitively determined market values obtained through art market transactions at 560 auction houses in 16 countries. The resulting millions of data points were processed with statistical and econometric survey tools.  This was complicated because databases were expressed in different currencies, were relate to different periods, and may be stated in currencies that no longer exist (e.g., lira, mark and so on).  In order to work with homogeneous values the sales data had to be converted in Euro or Dollars with constant purchasing power as they existed on a specific date.