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Accounting for Taste: An Examination of Socioeconomic Gradients in Attendance at Arts Events

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  • Lunn, Pete

    (ESRI)

  • Kelly, Elish

    (ESRI)

Abstract

We critically examine and empirically test the hypothesis that the strong socioeconomic gradients characterising attendance at arts events result from similar gradients in preferences for the arts, in line with existing theories of demand for the arts derived from orthodox consumer theory. To control for preferences, we use individual measures of stated interest in the arts and reports of viewing and listening habits, as distinct from attendance at live events. These variables are strongly associated with attendance, yet despite their inclusion as covariates within a hierarchical logistic regression analysis, strong and significant socioeconomic gradients remain within the estimated models. While it remains possible that our controls do not capture sufficient variation in preferences for the arts, it appears more likely that the socioeconomic composition of live arts audiences is influenced by other factors in addition to individual preferences for the arts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP283.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp283

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Keywords: Arts Participation; Socioeconomic Gradients; Logistic Regression; Ireland;

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References

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  1. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the Eonomics of Art and Culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152412, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. Victor Ginsburgh & Luc Champarnaud & Philippe Michel, 2008. "Can public arts education replace arts subsidization?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13396, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. 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.
  5. Seaman, Bruce A, 2006. "Empirical Studies of Demand for the Performing Arts," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
  6. John O’Hagan, 1996. "Access to and participation in the arts: The case of those with low incomes/educational attainment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 269-282, December.
  7. Francesca Borgonovi, 2004. "Performing arts attendance: an economic approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(17), pages 1871-1885.
  8. Sir Alan Peacock, 2000. "Public financing of the arts in England," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 171-205, June.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Hille, Adrian & Schupp, Jürgen, 2013. "How Learning a Musical Instrument Affects the Development of Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 7655, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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