On the public provision of the performing arts
In this paper, we present a model in which the performing arts are modelled as congestible public goods. In accordance with empirical evidence, the production of seat capacity is assumed to be subject to fixed costs. We estimate the parameters of the model?s demand and cost functions using German data. Using these estimates in a subsequent social choice analysis, we show that the current situation in the German performing arts sector is best described by a directorship that under the influence of a selfish theater lobby maximizes only the welfare of the spectators. Such an equilibrium, characterized by too low ticket prices and too large capacity, is most likely to establish if citizens have a very positive ex ante notion of the performing arts.
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