La donna e mobile--Or Is She? Voter Preferences and Public Support for the Performing Arts
This paper investigates a referendum held in 1994 on the public support of the Zurich Opera House. The estimates demonstrate that well over 85 percent of the variance in the approval rates across ballot districts can be explained with a few variables characterizing the socio-economic composition of the electorate. Since these variables have been shown to influence the level of public support for the arts in representative democracies as well, our result lends support to the view that in democracies public support for the arts is coupled to the stable preferences of the electorate. This insight may, to some extent, mitigate and qualify existing fears that cultural policy is completely at the mercy of changing government ideologies and interest group influences. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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