Cultural capital can be defined as an asset which embodies, stores or gives rise to some form of cultural value independently of whatever economic value it may possess. It may exist in tangible form as artworks, cultural artefacts, heritage buildings and sites, and so on. Alternatively, cultural capital may be intangible, comprising artworks such as literature and music which exist in their pure form as public goods, and the stock of inherited traditions, values, beliefs and so on which constitute the culture of a group. This chapter considers issues involved in defining cultural capital, paying particular attention to the concept of cultural value. The relationships between cultural and natural capital are explored, leading to a discussion of the importance of cultural diversity and cultural sustainability. The principles of culturally sustainable development are briefly outlined.
Statistics covering the volume and value of cultural output, levels of employment, cultural consumption and participation in the arts, public and private cultural funding, and so on are required for a range of purposes, including describing the size of the cultural sector and its place in the economy and society, underpinning evidence-based policy formation, monitoring and evaluation of the success or otherwise of cultural policies, and the benchmarking of performance standards. This chapter considers the derivation of statistics relating to cultural industries, international trade, employment in the cultural sector, the economic circumstances of artists, demand for cultural goods, cultural participation and funding of culture by public and private sectors. The chapter concludes with a discussion of cultural indicators and the relatively recent phenomenon of cultural satellite accounts.