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What Is the Economics of Art and Culture?

  • Bruno S. FreyEmail author
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Economics book series (BRIEFSECONOMICS)

Abstract

The economics of art and culture is a fascinating and worthwhile subject. Its analysis is based on the economic way of thinking. It deals with a large number of diverse issues, such as how valuable art is to society, how the art market and auctions work, the specific characteristics of artists’ labour market, and the role of copies and fakes in art. Various areas of the arts and culture are analyzed, such as opera and theatre, festivals, films, museums, cultural heritage and cultural tourism. Finally, various aspects of the public support for the arts are studied, and it is shown that art makes people happy.

Keywords

Economics of Art Economics of Culture Cultural Economics Economic approach Non-user benefits Non-economic values Human motivation Mass culture Commercialization Democracy Market 

Related Literature

The extension of economics beyond the economy has been championed by

  1. Becker GS (1976) The economic approach to human behavior. Chicago University Press, ChicagoCrossRefGoogle Scholar

See also, more recently,

  1. Frey BS (1999) Economics as a science of human behaviour. Towards a new social science paradigm. 2nd rev. and extended ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, Dordrecht and London.Google Scholar

The founders of the modern Economics of Art are

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Survey articles are

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Much of the content in the present booklet is more extensively treated in the excellent textbooks by

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Other textbooks are, for instance

  1. Benhamou F (1996) L’économie de la culture. Editions La Découverte, ParisGoogle Scholar
  2. Frey BS, Pommerehne WW (1989) Muses and markets: explorations in the economics of the arts. Blackwell Publishers, OxfordGoogle Scholar
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There are several comprehensive collections of articles, also dealing with aspects not covered in the present booklet:

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Other collections of articles are

  1. Ginsburgh VA, Menger P-M (eds) (1996) Economics of the arts. Selected essays. Elsevier/ North Holland, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
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Some monographs are, for example

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Closely related sociological contributions are

  1. Bourdieu P, Dardel A (1966) L’Amour de l’Art: Les Musées et leur Public. Editions de minuit, ParisGoogle Scholar
  2. DiMaggio PJ (ed) (1986) Nonprofit enterprise in the arts. Oxford University Press, New York and OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Foster, AW, Judith RB (eds) (1989) Art and society. Readings in the sociology of the arts. State University of New York Press, Albany.Google Scholar

The role of competition in classical music is analysed in

  1. Baumol WJ, Baumol H (1994) On the economics of musical composition in Mozart’s Vienna. J Cult Econ 18(3):171–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Vaubel R (2005) The role of competition in the rise of Baroque and Renaissance music. J Cult Econ 29(4):277–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CREW - Center for Research in Economics and Well-BeingUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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