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Economics of the Arts

The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is the economics of the arts.


Six Superlative Sources

· Baumol, William J., and William G. Bowen, Performing Arts: The Economic Dilemma, Twentieth Century Fund, 1966. The work often considered to have initiated the field.

· Caves, Richard, E., Creative Industries, Harvard University Press, 2000.

· Frey, Bruno S., and Werner W. Pommerehne, Muses and Markets: Explorations in the Economics of the Arts, Basil Blackwell, 1989. Also contains an excellent bibliography.

· Grampp, William D., Pricing the Priceless: Art, Artists and Economics, Basic Books, 1989. A delightful and devastating book on state intervention in the arts.

· Peacock, Alan, Paying the Piper: Culture, Music and Money, Edinburgh University Press, 1993. A delightful book by an economist who made many contributions to the field, and who happens to be a composer and acted as arts administrator heading many important art committees.

· Towse Ruth, ed., Cultural Economics: The Arts, the Heritage and the Media Industries, 2 volumes, Edward Elgar, 1997. Collection of published papers on the topic; includes most of the important papers until 1995; some of the papers are also cited among the other excellent sources below.

Other Excellent Sources

-- NOTE: The papers with (*) are among the most important to read and are included in the collection edited by Towse (1997) and listed above.

· Ashenfelter, Orley, How auctions work for wine and art, Journal of Economic Perspectives 3 (1989), 23-36.

· Baumol, William J., Unnatural value: Or art investment as floating crap game, American Economic Review 76 (1986), 10-14.(*)

· Benhamou, Françoise, L'Économie de la Culture, La Découverte, 2000.

· Bergonzi, Louis, and Julia Smith, Effects of Arts Education on the Participation in the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, 1996.

· Buelens, Nathalie, and Victor Ginsburgh, Revisiting Baumol's "Art investment as floating crap game," European Economic Review 37 (1993), 1351-1371.

· Feldstein, Martin, ed., The Economics of Art Museums, University of Chicago Press, 1991.

· Filer, Randall K., The starving artist -- myth or reality? Earning of artists in the United States, Journal of Political Economy 94 (1986), 56-75.(*)

· Frey, Bruno S., and Reiner Eichenberger, On the rate of return in the art market: Survey and evaluation, European Economic Review 39 (1995), 529-537.

· Ginsburgh, Victor, ed., Economics of Art and Culture: Invited Papers at the 12th International Conference of the Association of Cultural Economics International, Elsevier, 2004.

· Ginsburgh, Victor, and David Throsby, Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, North Holland, 2005. Survey papers prepared by the best specialists in each field.

· Ginsburgh, Victor, and Pierre-Michel Menger, eds., Economics of the Arts, North Holland, 1996.

· Haskell, Francis, Rediscoveries in Art: Some Aspects of Taste, Fashion and Collecting in England and in France, Phaidon Press, 1980.

· Heilbrun, James, and Charles M. Gray, The Economics of Art and Culture: An American Perspective, Cambridge University Press, 1997.

· Hoskins, Colin, Stuart McFadyen, and Adam Finn, Global Television and Film, Clarendon Press, 1997.

· Landes, William M., Winning the art lottery: The economic returns to the Ganz collection, Recherches Economiques de Louvain 66 (2000), 111-130.

· Merryman, John H., and Albert E. Elsen, Law, Ethics and the Visual Arts, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998.

· Netzer, Dick, The Subsidized Muse: Public Support for the Arts in the United States, Cambridge University Press, 1978.

· O'Hagan, John W., The State and the Arts. An Analysis of Key Economic Policy Issues in Europe and the United States, Edward Elgar, 1998.

· Rosen, Sherwin, The economics of superstars, American Economic Review 71 (1981), 845-858.(*)

· Seaman, Bruce A., Art impact studies: A fashionable excess, in Economic Impact of the Arts: A Sourcebook, National Conference of State Legislatures, 1987.

· Schuster, J. Mark, ed., Preserving the Built Heritage: Tools for Implementation, University Press of New England, 1997.

· Scitovsky, Tibor, What's wrong with the arts is what's wrong with society, American Economic Review 62 (1972), 62-69.

· Stigler, George J., and Gary S. Becker, De gustibus non est disputandum, American Economic Review 67 (1977), 76-90.(*)

· Throsby, David, The production and consumption of the arts: A view of cultural economics, Journal of Economic Literature 32 (1994), 1-29.(*)

· Throsby, David, Economics and Culture, Cambridge University Press, 2001.

· Wassal, Gregory H., and Neil O. Alper, Toward a unified theory of the determinants of the earnings of artists, in Ruth Towse and Abdul Kakhee, eds., Cultural Economics, Springer Verlag, 1992.(*)


· The Journal of Cultural Economics.

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