Teaching Cultural Economics
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Teaching Cultural Economics

Edited by Trine Bille, Anna Mignosa and Ruth Towse

Teaching Cultural Economics is the first book of its kind to offer inspiration and guidance for teaching cultural economics through short chapters, a wide scope of knowledge and teaching cases by experienced teachers who are expert in the topic.
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Chapter 7: Economic arguments for public support of arts and culture

Trine Bille


In most countries, parts of the cultural sector is subsidized by public means to a greater or lesser extent, especially museums, libraries and the performing arts. This chapter discusses different arguments from economic theory for public support of arts and culture. The chapter is based on welfare economics, where the main arguments for public intervention are ‘market failure’ like public goods and externalities. The chapter shows how these concepts can be applied to the cultural sector and discusses the issues of efficiency and equity.

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