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Art for the Masses? Justification for the Public Support of the Arts in Developing Countries – Two Arts Festivals in South Africa

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  • J. Snowball
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    Abstract

    In the New South Africa, as in other developing countries, the equitable distribution of public resources is a priority. The case for public support of the arts is thus difficult to make because it has been shown and borne out by South African research, that arts audiences tend to represent the better educated, more prosperous minority of society, not the majority of the very poor, mainly African-origin population. Using data from willingness to pay studies conducted at two South African arts festivals, this paper shows that, when the positive externalities provided by the arts are included in their valuation, it can be shown that both high and low income earners benefit. However, as suggested by Seaman (2003), it is also found that some of what the WTP figure is capturing is current and expected future economic benefit from the event. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 29 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 107-125

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:29:y:2005:i:2:p:107-125

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

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    Keywords: arts festivals; developing countries; valuation; willingness to pay;

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    1. Peter A. Diamond & Jerry A. Hausman, 1994. "Contingent Valuation: Is Some Number Better than No Number?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 45-64, Fall.
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    12. Richard T. Carson, 1997. "Contingent Valuation: Theoretical Advances and Empirical Tests Since the NOAA Panel," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1501-1507.
    13. Morrison, William G. & Westi, Edwin G., 1986. "Subsidies for the performing arts: Evidence on voter preference," Journal of Behavioral Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 57-72.
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