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 50: Principal–Agent Analysis

Michele Trimarchi


Michele Trimarchi The cultural sector consists of a complex network of markets in which various flows of exchange occur. These are either monetary or real, in some cases they can be mixed, and often they can be quite difficult to measure in an uncontroversial way: this is due both to the importance of meta-economic profiles (aesthetic, cultural, informational and so on) in the determination of their value and to the influence exerted upon demand, price and other economic variables by subjective evaluation whose reliability is not necessarily related to experience, education or training. Creative artists exchange their works with producers and dealers, with single purchasers or large audiences, central and local governments; funding organizations exchange grants or in-kind subsidies with creators (seldom), producers (normally) and sellers (frequently); private corporations exchange funds with artists and organizations; and individual donors exchange their contributions with theatres and museums. These exchanges can be interpreted as a combination of different principal–agent relationships, both within and between the markets. A sequence of exchanges also occurs across a number of progressively converging markets involving new technologies: the creative artist produces a text, uploads it on to a blog, then elaborates it as a theatrical script; a director stages it; other artists and technicians transform it into a video; it is seen on YouTube, in a movie theatre, in a home video and so on; somebody will write a novel based upon the subject, and a TV series will be produced. Although the whole sequence may sound...

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