The Evolution of Theatre Attendance in Italy: Patrons and Companies

  • Concetta Castiglione
  • Davide Infante


This paper examines the Italian theatre market from both the demand and supply side. The descriptive analysis shows that the Italian theatre market is, mainly, localized in the Northern and Central Italian regions for both patrons and companies, confirming a cultural divide between the Southern and the rest of the Italian regions also in the theatrical sector. Like many other European countries, the performing arts in Italy are subsided by public funds through the so-called Fondo Unico per lo Spettacolo (FUS), thereby influencing theatre performance and attendance. As expected, the distribution of the FUS follows the localization of the theatrical companies. The empirical analysis is conducted using 34-year panel data (1980–2013) for the 20 Italian regions. By applying the seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) estimation technique, we identify the factors influencing theatre demand and the number of performances on stage. The estimated results confirm price and consumer income as the main determinants of the number of tickets sold together with the territorial area. In contrast, the number of performances is influenced by income, lagged demand, theatrical employment, and other contextual factors linked to territorial areas and public subsidies.


Theatre demand Theatre supply Theatre production Panel data SUR Italy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.University of CalabriaCosenzaItaly

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