Determinants of Public Cultural Expenditures: An Exploratory Time Series Analysis for Austria
Austria calls itself a ``cultural nation'' as the arts, the performing arts (theaters) and museums, in particular, play an important role in public debate. However, the question arises as to whether public cultural expenditures as an indication of the significance of cultural policy are really as important when compared to other policy fields as political parties and the government try to suggest. A time series of public cultural expenditures for the period from 1967 to 1998 is taken as a basis for testing econometrically whether public expenditures (measured primarily as the ratio to GDP) follow a growth path. Based on tests for the stationarity of the time series of cultural expenditures in Austria, there are empirical indications that cultural expenditures, gross domestic product (GDP) and the relative price index (GDP and government expenditures) are cointegrated. Further econometric estimations (error-correction models) show that cultural expenditures increase with growing GDP but are vulnerable to short term fluctuations. Additionally, ``Baumol's cost disease'' adds to the long-term growth of cultural expenditures. In the past the growth path of cultural expenditures has been stable and independent of the ideology of ruling parties, the form of government and political business cycles. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002
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