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Kind of Black: The Musicians' Labour Market in Italy

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  • Alessandro Balestrino

Abstract

It is estimated that only 5% of musicians in Italy are regularly employed. In an attempt at understanding such a peculiar situation, we build a theoretical model of the musicians’ labour market in which we embed the main institutional features of the Italian system. We notice how the presence of taxation incentivates the formation of a black market for musicians and discourages talented agents from becoming full-time musicians in all second-best economies. In Italy both tendencies are particularly strong, and further exacerbated by the presence of an actuarially unfair pension system for musicians. These inefficiencies might be corrected by a two-fold policy: the reform of the pension system, and the introduction of a sufficiently large unemployment benefit for musicians. We notice that the first step, while highly desirable, is unlikely to be politically feasible in the current Italian institutional setting. The second step, which has a general interest for any second-best economy, is instead viable under certain circumstances.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2769.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2769

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Keywords: musician; labour market; moonlighting; unemployment benefit; Italy;

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  1. Maurizio Caserta & Tiziana Cuccia, 2001. "The Supply of Arts Labour : Towards a Dynamic Approach," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 185-201, August.
  2. Throsby,David, 2000. "Economics and Culture," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521586399.
  3. Joel Slemrod, 2001. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 119-128, March.
  4. Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2003. "Imperfect Tax Compliance and the Optimal Provision of Public Goods," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 37-52, January.
  5. Adler, Moshe, 1985. "Stardom and Talent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 208-12, March.
  6. Tyler Cowen & Alexander Tabarrok, 2000. "An Economic Theory of Avant-Garde and Popular Art, or High and Low Culture," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 232-253, July.
  7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
  8. Cowell, F A, 1990. "Tax Sheltering and the Cost of Evasion," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 231-43, January.
  9. Nicola Sartor, 2001. "The Long-run Effects of the Italian Pension Reforms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 83-111, January.
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