Susana Mourato

Susana Mourato is Senior Lecturer in Environmental Economics, Department of Environmental Technology, Imperial College London. She has published extensively on the application of stated preference methods to environmental problems, social policy and cultural heritage. She is one of the authors of the recently published UK Government guidelines on best practice in using these techniques.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Pricing Cultural Heritage

A growing determinant of leisure travel decisions has been the demand for cultural destinations. This has presented complex challenges with regards to the correct management of major cultural resources. Management options can be assessed in terms of three criteria of performance: access, financial sustainability and environmental sustainability. This paper shows that a promising means of reconciling these desirable objectives is to harness the potential of economic pricing strategies (such as entry charges), where data on willingness to pay for visits are based on non-market valuation methods. A real-life illustration is provided by examining the case of the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary in Peru. It is shown that this approach can usefully inform expected changes in the entry fee level and structure not just of Machu Picchu but cultural destinations and resources more generally.

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The Costs of Violent Crime

This paper reviews a number of studies that have sought to estimate the economic costs of criminal offending and, more specifically, violent crime. Firstly, it discusses those approaches that have sought to describe the ‘big picture’ by calculating the aggregate burden of all crime. These studies yield useful overall summaries about the magnitude of the crime problem but also reveal how little is known about the value of the ‘intangible’ effects of violent crime (e.g. the anxiety suffered by potential victims or the pain and suffering imposed on actual victims). Secondly, the authors review the growing number of contributions that have begun the process of filling this gap through novel applications of nonmarket valuation methods in a crime context. In particular, the findings of a recent attempt to estimate the costs of categories of violent crime (of varying levels of severity) in the United Kingdom using the contingent valuation method are discussed. Whilst valuing the intangible costs of violent crime is a challenging task, a more explicit assessment is needed not just to improve the transparency of public decision-making but also to ensure that policy benefits of crime prevention can be compared directly with the costs of implementation.

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