A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition
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A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition

Edited by Ruth Towse

The second edition of this widely acclaimed and extensively cited collection of original contributions by specialist authors reflects changes in the field of cultural economics over the last eight years. Thoroughly revised chapters alongside new topics and contributors bring the Handbook up to date, taking into account new research, literature and the impact of new technologies in the creative industries.
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Chapter 16: Creative Economy

Tyler Cowen


Tyler Cowen Over the years 2000–05, international trade in creative goods and services grew at the strong rate of 8.7 per cent per year; cross-country trade in such goods amounts to over $400 billion per year, according to one recent estimate (UNCTAD, 2008, pp. 4–5). Since this time, the concept of the ‘creative economy’ has taken on a central role in discussions of policy and in positive analyses of cultural economics. The phrase ‘creative economy’ is used loosely to encompass a variety of concepts; UNCTAD’s Creative Economy Report defines the creative economy as follows: The creative economy is an evolving concept based on creative assets potentially generating economic growth and development; ● ● ● ● ● It can foster income generation, job creation and export earnings while promoting social inclusion, cultural diversity and human development; It embraces economic, cultural and social aspects interacting with technology, intellectual property and tourism objectives; It is a set of knowledge-based economic activities with a development dimension and cross-cutting linkages at macro and micro levels to the overall economy; It is a feasible development option calling for innovative multidisciplinary policy responses and interministerial action; At the heart of the creative economy are the creative industries.(UNCTAD, 2008, p. 4) This concept of creative economy revises some of the central issues in cultural economics. Perhaps most importantly, the notion of a creative economy suggests that the difference between cultural sectors and non-cultural sectors is one of degree rather than of kind. Cultural economics has not traditionally focused much on...

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