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 58: Welfare economics

Mark Blaug


Starting from the observation that the arts are subsidized to some extent in every country, the author observes that the standard tools of welfare economics do not readily provide convincing arguments for that policy. The chapter discusses Pareto optimality and shows that it has no practical relevance in a world of second best. Pigovian welfare economics, however does, as it makes the case for dealing with market failure through subsidy. Other developments are also considered, such as Sen’s capability approach to welfare analysis.

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