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The Performing Arts

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

Abstract

Only a small proportion of the population ever attends live performances of classical art. Crucial determinants are entry price, education, and preferences. The public sector can support the performing arts by giving a fixed sum, by making donations tax deductible, and by covering the deficit. Profit-oriented firms can exist when fixed costs are small, audiences large, and price discrimination and cross-subsidization feasible. There may also be co-operatives. The cost disease threatens the survival of the performing arts because the wages paid must rise in line with the other sectors in the economy. Labour productivity often cannot be raised. Admission prices can be increased provided consumer react little to price changes. Artistic performances can be made more attractive to a larger proportion of people.

Keywords

Live performance Classical art Public sector Profit-oriented firms Co-operatives Fixed cost Audiences Admission prices Price discrimination Education Cost disease Labour productivity Deficits Opera houses Opera composers Opera plays Drama Playwright Government support Subsidy Donations Taxes 

Related Literature

Various aspects of the performing arts are competently treated in handbook articles by

  1. Brooks AC (2006) Nonprofit firms in the performing arts. In: Ginsburgh VA, Throsby D (eds) Handbook of the economics of art and culture. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 473–506CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Luksetich WA (2003) Orchestras. In: Towse R (ed) A handbook of cultural economics. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham UK and Northampton, MA, USA, pp 349–355Google Scholar
  3. Schimmelpfennig J (2003) Ballet. In: Towse R (ed) A handbook of cultural economics. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham UK and Northampton, MA, USA, pp 85–90Google Scholar
  4. Seaman BA (2006) Empirical studies of demand for the performing arts. In: Ginsburgh VA, Throsby D (eds) Handbook of the economics of art and culture. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 415–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Towse R (2003) Opera. In: Towse R (ed) A handbook of cultural economics. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham UK and Northampton, MA, USA, pp 342–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar

The cost disease was identified by

  1. Baumol WJ, Bowen WG (1966) Performing arts. The economic dilemma; A study of problems common to theater, opera, music and dance. The Twentieth Century Fund, Hartford CTGoogle 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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