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 13: Philanthropy

Luigi Di Gaetano and Isidoro Mazza


This chapter analyses the economic determinants of philanthropic behaviour. Altruism apparently contradicts the common tenet of self-interest. However, donations do not seem to emerge from ‘pure altruism’ only. It is necessary to identify the incentives to donate and to verify the extent of their consistency with the assumption of rational agents. Moreover, it is important to understand how public policies could affect such incentives. Philanthropy is a central issue in cultural economics because private support to the arts is becoming increasingly important for the existence and prosperity of cultural institutions.

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