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Public Funding of Controversial Art

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  • Michael Rushton
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    Abstract

    In 1990, the Act governing theUnited States' National Endowment for the Arts wasamended requiring the Chairperson to ensure thatjudges of grant applications should take intoconsideration ``general standards of decency andrespect for the diverse beliefs and values of theAmerican public''. This provision has been widelydebated, and was challenged on the basis of whether itviolated the right of freedom of expression. But arecent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court found theprovision to be constitutional. This paper examinesrationales that have been put forward by philosophicalliberals, economists, and communitarians in support ofpublic funding of the arts. It finds that for each ofthese rationales the decency-and-respect provision onfunding is justifiable. The paper concludes with aspeculative discussion of the economics of the``artworld''. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Cultural Economics.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 267-282

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:24:y:2000:i:4:p:267-282

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100284

    Related research

    Keywords: cultural economics; freedom of expression; public funding of art;

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    1. Michael Rushton, 1999. "Methodological Individualism and Cultural Economics," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 137-146, August.
    2. Throsby, David, 1994. "The Production and Consumption of the Arts: A View of Cultural Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-29, March.
    3. Trine Hansen, 1997. "The Willingness-to-Pay for the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen as a Public Good," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 1-28, March.
    4. Charles T. Clotfelter, 1991. "Government Policy Toward Art Museums in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Art Museums, pages 237-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Holger Bonus & Dieter Ronte, 1997. "Credibility and Economic Value in the Visual Arts," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 103-118, June.
    6. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Market for Goods and the Market for Ideas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 384-91, May.
    7. Frey, Bruno S, 1994. "Cultural Economics and Museum Behaviour," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 41(3), pages 325-35, August.
    8. Bruno Frey, 1999. "State Support and Creativity in the Arts: Some New Considerations," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 71-85, March.
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