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 17: Creative Industries

Ruth Towse


Ruth Towse By the end of the twentieth century, the term ‘creative industries’ had been adopted by the UK government, whose 1998 Creative Industries Mapping Document triggered a wider interest in the topic, while Richard Caves’s influential book Creative Industries (Caves, 2000) brought mainstream economics into the analysis of these industries. A decade later ‘creative industries’ had become an established concept, although the previous term, ‘cultural industries’, is also in use and still preferred by some. ‘Creative industries’ seems to chime with the creative economy ‘paradigm’1 that has been adopted by many national governments and by international organizations, notably in the Creative Economy Report 2008, produced by a consortium of United Nations agencies (UNCTAD, 2008). In essence, the term ‘creative industries’ puts together the creative and performing arts with cultural industries, which variously include advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, crafts, design, fashion, film, games, heritage services/museums and libraries, the Internet, publishing, software, television and radio, and video. This list is a compendium of those industries mentioned under different classification systems discussed in the Report (UNCTAD, 2008, p. 13). Other classifications involve ordering the industries or part of their activities as ‘core’ and ‘peripheral’ or ‘wider’ in terms of the degree of creativity entailed in their output or, as discussed below, in terms of the engagement with copyright. The cultural industries have been defined as consisting of firms that mass-produce goods and services with sufficient artistic content to be considered creative and culturally significant. The essential features are the...

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