Amedeo Di Maio, Elina De Simone

Heritage and Merit Wants: An Enquiry Through the Real Estate Prices

  • Abstract

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Keywords: publicly provided goods, urban economics, government policy

In this paper we study the Musgravian notion of community value, related to the extent and the worthiness of the cultural heritage located in the historical centers of Italian chief towns. Our aim is to detect the existence of this value through quantitative data, considered the well-known difficulties in finding mechanisms of collective decisions in frameworks that are not paternalist, but democratic. More in detail, we believe that a relevant and not-generic community value, representing the identity symbolized by the cultural heritage, is supposable only if the differential between the market prices of the historical centers' real estates and those of other urban areas is positive. The conclusions, drawn from the apparent relation between the community value and the socio-economic conditions of cities, are about the characteristics of good government policies.

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