How Do State Arts Appropriations Affect State Economic Growth?
In this study, we examine the effect of public spending for the arts on state economic growth among U.S. states. While there is a large literature on the effects of many elements of public spending on economic growth, this literature has ignored spending for the arts. We extend this literature by conducting a series of regression models using a panel of state-level data for the years 1992 through 2003 to identify the effect of public spending for the arts on state economic growth when such spending is financed through own-source revenues. Results indicate that increasing state arts spending above current levels, financed through own-source revenues, leads to an overall reduction in state economic growth. While this finding does not indicate that arts spending as a whole adversely impacts economic growth, it suggests that state arts spending is slightly above the optimum level, to the extent that the goal of such spending is to maximize economic growth.
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