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The Economics of Museums

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  • Frey, Bruno S.
  • Meier, Stephan

Abstract

Museums fulfill many important functions in the art world and visits to museums are becoming an important leisure and holiday activity. This chapter surveys research about the functioning of museums from an economic point of view. Museum services are shaped by demand and supply factors and by the institutional setting constraining the decision makers in a museum. This chapter argues that the institutional factors, e.g., whether a museum is private or public, influence greatly how the museum is run with respect to the management of the collection, price setting, or the focus on commercial activities. Two current trends, the evolution of superstar museums and the growing importance of special exhibitions, are analysed from an economic point of view.

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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 1-29.

    Handle: RePEc:eee:artchp:1-29

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    Cited by:
    1. Bruno S. Frey & Lasse Steiner, 2010. "Pay as you go: a new proposal for museum pricing," IEW - Working Papers 485, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    2. Berentsen Aleksander & Rocheteau Guillaume, 2003. "On the Friedman Rule in Search Models with Divisible Money," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Aleksander Berentsen & Esther Brügger & Simon Lörtscher, . "On Cheating and Whistle-Blowing," IEW - Working Papers 153, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. Juan Prieto-Rodriguez & Victor Fernandez-Blanco, 2003. "Optimal Pricing And Grant Policies For Museums," Public Economics 0309002, EconWPA.
    6. Silvia Fedeli & Michele Santoni, 2006. "The Government's Choice of Bureaucratic Organisation: An Application to Italian State Museums," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 41-72, March.
    7. JG. Brida & M. Pulina & E. Riaño, 2010. "Visitors’ experience in a modern art museum: a structural equation model," Working Paper CRENoS 201026, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    8. Laura Onofri & Antonello Scorcu, 2006. "The Life Cycle of Temporary Cultural Exhibitions: An Empirical Exploration," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 447-460.
    9. Cellini, Roberto & Cuccia, Tiziana, 2009. "Museum and monument attendance and tourism flow: A time series analysis approach," MPRA Paper 18908, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. A. E. Scorcu & R. Zanola, 2011. "Survival in the Cultural Market: The Case of Temporary Exhibitions," Working Paper Series 36_11, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.

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