Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 119–140 | Cite as

On the Use of Life Satisfaction Data for Valuing Cultural Goods: A First Attempt and a Comparison with the Contingent Valuation Method

  • Salvador del Saz-SalazarEmail author
  • Ana Navarrete-Tudela
  • José Ramón Alcalá-Mellado
  • Daniel Carlos del Saz-Salazar
Research Paper


This article shows how life-satisfaction data can be used as a novel approach to value cultural goods since the contingent valuation method, although widely used, is still the subject of an intense controversy. The cultural good object of valuation is the Contemporary Art Archives and Collections of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the city of Cuenca (Spain) that constitutes a cultural legacy of great value for the community at large. Both methodologies are compared and results provide evidence that the Life Satisfaction Approach can generate meaningful values of cultural goods of use nature and non-use nature. Thus, adding a new tool of analysis expands the scope for the economic valuation of cultural goods. Finally, the pros and cons of this novel approach are discussed.


Life Satisfaction Approach Happiness Subjective well-being Contingent valuation Cultural goods Non-market valuation 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support received from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Reference: HAR2013-48604-C2-1-P). We also want to thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.


This study was funded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Reference: HAR2013-48604-C2-1-P).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

All the respondents consented to participate in the research. Confidentiality and anonymity was also preserved.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Economics IIUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Department of ArtsUniversity of Castile-La ManchaCuencaSpain
  3. 3.Cultural Interfaces, Art and New Media Research GroupUniversity of Castile-La ManchaCuencaSpain

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