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Empirical Studies of Demand for the Performing Arts

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  • Seaman, Bruce A

Abstract

While audience and participation surveys, as well as econometric demand studies, generally confirm that performing arts audiences are relatively elite, there are surprises. Education (despite conflicting causal interpretations) is a stronger determinant than income, but that evidence is more reliable from survey results than from econometric estimation, and arts training is often distinguished from formal education. The arts as luxury goods can only be confirmed by those rare studies controlling for the value of time, and price elasticities are often higher than expected, especially when more disaggregated data are examined. Price inelastic demand is more likely the result of low pricing strategies of non-profit arts managements rather than any inherent result of an acquired taste for the arts, while cross-price elasticity evidence is relatively weak, even within the performing arts. Arts demand cannot adequately be estimated without also considering "life-style" variables, or non-standard socioeconomic factors such as sexual orientation, gender and socialization processes, and even the role of age has been notably complex. Quality of arts performance or organization seems important, but the econometric results are mixed. Habit formation must be distinguished from learning-by-consuming and rational addiction in examining dynamic determinants. Sociologists, psychologists, and marketing specialists, as well as economists, have contributed to this literature, which remains unusually enigmatic despite about forty years of increasingly sophisticated analysis.

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This chapter was published in:

  • V.A. Ginsburgh & D. Throsby (ed.), 2006. "Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, December.
    This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture with number 1-14.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:artchp:1-14

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    Cited by:
    1. NANDI, Tushar K. & ROCHELANDET, Fabrice, 2008. "The Incentives for Contributing Digital Contents Over P2P Networks: An Empirical Investigation," MPRA Paper 51301, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Marta Zieba & John O'Hagan, 2013. "Demand for Live Orchestral Music – The Case of German Kulturorchester," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 233(2), pages 225-245, March.
    3. Avtonomov, Yu., 2012. "Elasticity of Demand for Performing Art at Price and Income: Basic Results of Empiric Research," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 135-138.
    4. Concetta Castiglione, 2011. "The Demand for Theatre. A Microeconomic Approach to the Italian Case," Trinity Economics Papers tep0911, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    5. Lunn, Pete & Kelly, Elish, 2009. "Accounting for Taste: An Examination of Socioeconomic Gradients in Attendance at Arts Events," Papers WP283, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    6. Karol Jan BOROWIECKi & Concetta CASTIGLIONE, 2012. "Cultural Participation and Tourism Flows in Italy," Trinity Economics Papers tep0212, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    7. Rubinstein, A., 2012. "Trends and Regularities of Consumption in the Performing Arts," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 158-164.
    8. Luisa Fernanda Bernat & Jhon James Mora & Blanca Zuluaga, 2012. "La elasticidad ingreso del consumo cultural en Cali," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 14(27), pages 165-192, July-Dece.
    9. Borowiecki, Karol Jan & Castiglione, Concetta, 2012. "Cultural participation and tourism flows: An empirical investigation of Italian provinces," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 21/2012, Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
    10. Juan Montoro-Pons & Manuel Cuadrado-García, 2011. "Live and prerecorded popular music consumption," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 19-48, February.
    11. Karol J. Borowiecki & Juan Prieto-Rodriguez, 2013. "Video Games Playing: A substitute for cultural consumptions?," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-07-2013, the Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Nov 2013.
    12. Marta Zieba, 2009. "Full-income and price elasticities of demand for German public theatre," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 85-108, May.
    13. Stefan, Mann, 2012. "Does brain research provide a case for the transfer of public monies to the arts?," MPRA Paper 39410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Eva Vicente & Pablo de Frutos, 2011. "Application of the travel cost method to estimate the economic value of cultural goods: Blockbuster art exhibitions," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 196(1), pages 37-63, january.

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