Creativity, Incentive and Reward

Creativity, Incentive and Reward

An Economic Analysis of Copyright and Culture in the Information Age

Ruth Towse

Creativity is crucial to the Information Age economy. It is the basis of production in the cultural industries. In this excellent book, Ruth Towse provides an analysis of the interaction between creativity, the law, and markets for cultural goods and services. Copyright law establishes property rights that create economic incentives to cultural production and Ruth Towse uses her analysis to draw conclusions about policy on copyright. This unique study is of interest to a range of disciplines in economics, law, cultural studies and management.

Chapter 3: Economics of Artists’ Labour Markets

Ruth Towse

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics


* INTRODUCTION The primary aim of this chapter is to review research undertaken on the economic characteristics of artists. This area of investigation is fraught with problems of definition, as are so many issues in the area of arts policy. Because of this, the chapter begins with a brief discussion of the ways used to define who is and who is not an artist. (The term ‘artist’ is used here to include a range of creative and performing artists and craftspeople). Section 2 examines how labour markets work in the arts. Section 3 looks at what is known about artists’ earnings from various surveys and Section 4 contains a short summary of the role of institutional arrangements such as grants for artists, and taxation. Research on the contribution that training makes to artists’ earnings is outlined in Section 5. Section 6 discusses the findings of this body of work. 2. GENERAL ISSUES IN LABOUR MARKETS FOR ARTISTS The Definition of Artists At the conceptual level, who is and who is not an artist is as complex as the question, what is art? Frey and Pommerehne in their book Muses and Markets (1989, p. 47) identify eight criteria that may be applied in order to determine who is an artist: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The amount of time spent on artistic work; The amount of income derived from artistic activities; The reputation as an artist among the general public; Recognition among other artists; The quality of artistic work produced (which means...

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