by Arjo Klamer1 formerly titled "Cultural Goods are Good for More Than Their Economic Value"
Cultural Economics, Japanese Association for Cultural Economics (3) 3: 17-38,
March 2003 & Cultural and Public Action, V. Rao and M. Walton, eds., Stanford University Press, 2004
It may be a bridge, a piece of wood. Or a temple, a windmill, a painting, a piece of furniture, a mask, jewel, bead. It may even be a language, a ritual, or a practice. Whatever it is, it differs from other goods because people may consider it a symbol of something — a nation, a community, a tradition, a religion, a cultural episode — and endow it with various meanings over and above its usefulness. They may ascribe to it artistic, aesthetic or sacred qualities. They may draw inspiration from it, or value it because it gives rise to hatred in some and antagonizes others. Let us say, then, that the good has cultural value in that it is a source of inspiration or symbol of distinction.
Therefore, we call it a cultural good.2