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How should cultural diversity be measured? An application using the French publishing industry

  • Françoise Benhamou

    ()

  • Stéphanie Peltier

    ()

Despite the lack of a clear definition of the concept, “cultural diversity” has remained a core issue for more than a decade (WTO, UNESCO, etc.). The aim of this paper is to begin to fill this gap. We argue that cultural diversity is a multi-dimensional concept and that accurate metrics must rely on three criteria: variety, balance and disparity. We also stress that supplied and consumed diversity have to be distinguished. We apply this set of multiple measures of diversity to publishing data for France over the period 1990–2003. Our main result is that the situation of the publishing industry in terms of cultural diversity is highly dependent on the dimension considered. Hence, diversity increases when variety is the sole consideration, whereas taking balance or disparity into account leads to the opposite conclusion. This issue raises a series of questions about the use of diversity measures in a policy debate concerned with furthering cultural diversity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Cultural Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 85-107

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:31:y:2007:i:2:p:85-107
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100284

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  1. Canoy, Marcel & van der Ploeg, Frederick & van Ours, Jan C, 2005. "The Economics of Books," CEPR Discussion Papers 4892, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  10. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2003. "Beyond the Dogma of the Fixed Book Price Agreement," CESifo Working Paper Series 949, CESifo Group Munich.
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