Application of Cost-Benefit Analysis to Evaluate the Efficiency of Cultural Heritage Preservation Projects in Historic Towns of Russia
The article is dedicated to the problems of justifying public investment in projects aimed at Russian cultural heritage preservation. The case study considered in the article is the project “Preservation and Development of Small Historic Towns and Settlements” (Project). The preparation of this Project involved evaluation of its economic net present value. The results of the evaluation were used to justify the feasibility of public funding of the Project. Performing an economic cost-benefit analysis required conducting surveys of different target groups of potential users of the Project’s results regarding their willingness to pay for the proposed improvements. The surveys were conducted using contingent valuation methods in two historic towns: Rostov and Chistopol. The article discusses the methodological aspects of evaluating the efficiency of public investment in Russia and other countries and presents the results of the conducted surveys and the performed calculations of the Project efficiency indicators. The calculations show that the Project is justified at the federal level from the society’s perspective, as it has a positive economic net present value and an economic internal rate of return that exceeds the social discount rate.