Mark Blaug: Rebel with Many Causes
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Mark Blaug: Rebel with Many Causes

Edited by Marcel Boumans and Matthias Klaes

This collection of eminent contributions discusses the ideas and works of Mark Blaug, who has made important and often pioneering contributions to economic history, economic methodology, the economics of education, development economics, cultural economics, economic theory and the history of economic thought. Besides these assessments of Blaug’s influence and impact in these fields, this volume also contains a selection of personal portraits which depict him as a colleague, a friend and an opponent. Blaug was also a voracious reader and prolific writer, which is clearly evidenced by the comprehensive bibliography.
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Chapter 16: From Austria to Australia: Mark Blaug and cultural economics

Christian Handke and Erwin Dekker

Extract

This chapter discusses the legacy of Mark Blaug for cultural economics. It revolves around two basic questions: first, what is the scope and purpose of cultural economics according to Mark Blaug? Second, what do we learn about Mark Blaug’s take on applied economics from his contributions to this field? The first question is of particular interest because Mark Blaug played a formative role in the economics of the arts and culture. He pioneered what he called the ‘economics of the arts’ in the 1970s, and he kept contributing to what came to be called ‘cultural economics’ ever since. Over more than four decades, he played an important role in establishing cultural economics as a recognized discipline in applied economics – even though he was not too fond of this term himself. A noteworthy constant in Mark Blaug’s writing is that it reflects a genuine interest in what many others have written. Similar to his work on the history of economic thought or the economics of education, for example, he kept taking stock of the literature on cultural economics, pointing out achievements, gaps and desirable extensions, which provide a useful point of orientation and inspiration for anyone concerned with cultural economics. Regarding the second question, Mark Blaug is of course much better known for his work on the history of economic thought and economic methodology. Yet, his publications on the economics of art and culture illustrate how Mark Blaug practised what he preached.

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