Handbook of Cultural Economics, Third Edition
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Handbook of Cultural Economics, Third Edition

Edited by Ruth Towse and Trilce Navarrete Hernández

Cultural economics has become well established as a subject of interest for students and teachers of courses ranging from economics to arts administration as well as for policy-makers and practitioners in the creative industries. Digitisation has had a tremendous impact on many areas of the creative economy and the third edition of this popular book fully reflects it.
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Chapter 48: Political economy

Isidoro Mazza


Political economy is the methodology of economics applied to the analysis of political decision-making, behaviour and institutions. From its beginning, it has experienced a vast diffusion across all areas of economic research. A central aspect of the analysis is the presence of information asymmetries pervading all steps of the political decision-making process: from voting to electoral competition and from government policy-making to the implementation of policies. There is a growing literature in cultural economics that adopts the political economic approach, although its range of topics is still limited. This chapter highlights the main issues characterizing political economy and its recent developments, illustrating how it contributes to the assessment of cultural policies. The discussion also suggests that empirical research should pay attention to the salience that cultural expenditure may have for voters and politicians, to be identified in a specific political and behavioural model underlying the analysis. The chapter concludes by suggesting future research on topics highly debated but not yet adequately investigated.

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