The Economics of Historic Preservation

The methods of determining the value of historic preservation vary widely, and several challenges persist in applying economic methods to the field. This discussion paper, which is followed with an extensive and annotated bibliography, reviews the current findings on the value of historic preservation and the methods used to assess that value, making the case for needed improvement if the economics of preservation is to more objectively and rigorously quantify the effects of historic preservation.

Toward that end, the paper calls for a hybrid of the most promising analytical methods and more collaboration across research fields. By combining methods, the particular shortcomings or blind spots of different methods can perhaps offset one another. Without further refinement, the ability to make conclusive, generalized statements about the economics of preservation will remain elusive.