Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 163–199 | Cite as

European cultural statistics in a comparative perspective: index of economic and social condition of culture for the EU countries

Original Article


In the article, we present the construction of an index of economic and social condition of culture using datasets of Eurostat’s Cultural Statistics Pocketbooks from 2007 and 2011 and Eurostat’s COFOG data. The datasets allow us a broad perspective over a set of more than 200 variables in 12 domains for the EU-27 member states. Using high-dimensionally adjusted factor analysis (Metropolis–Hastings Robbins–Monro algorithm), we construct an index and determine a set of its several dimensions (as seen from the cultural statistics viewpoint). Using cluster analysis, we determine the general similarities and differences among the analysed countries and show several broadly different groupings that roughly, but not exclusively follow the divide speculated in some previous studies. The analysis therefore brings a novel and statistically developed tool to empirically follow the changes in the economic and social condition of culture from the viewpoint of cultural statistics, while the clustering of models has important consequences for empirical cultural policy and has to be verified in future studies.


Cultural statistics Comparative analysis Eurostat Composite indicators Weighting schemes Metropolis–Hastings Robbins–Monro algorithm 

JEL Classification

C38 C43 Z11 Z18 H80 



For the comments, we kindly thank Marilena Vecco, Marc Verboord, Tjaša Bartolj and the participants at conferences and symposiums of Eurasian Business and Economic Society (EBES) Istanbul 2014, EBES Barcelona 2014, Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI) Montreal 2014, International Conference on Cultural Policy Research (ICCPR) Hildesheim 2014, European Workshop on Applied Cultural Economics (EWACE) Vienna 2015 and Economic and Business Review (EBR) Ljubljana 2015. All remaining errors are our own.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no potential conflict of interest.


The authors declare that they did not receive any funding to carry out this research.

Human and animal rights

The authors declare that the research does not involve human participants and/or animals.

Informed consent

The authors declare that the research does not involve issues that would need informed consent.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana and Institute for Economic Research, LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of Social Sciences, University of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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