Quality Judgements and Demand for French Public Theatre
Regression models often reveal a low statistical significance for the quality variables that are used to explain theatrical demand. I posit that opposing opinions on quality are the cause of this. A regression equation is constructed in order to explain demand, with continuous variables for price and volume, and with dummy variables for drama critics, “directors-cum-managers”, growth in funding by public authorities and repertoire classification. I use detailed data on demand for French “theatrical institutions” in 1995 and 1996 to test this model. To some extent, the results support the hypothesis that the media reputation of shows, as expressed in the form of drama reviews, and the artistic reputation of “directors-cum-managers”, which are listed on the programme, havean opposite effect on attendance. Nevertheless, the least squares coefficients show that the most reliable sign of quality remains the reputation of the theatrical institution. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002
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