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Accounting for Taste: An Examination of Socioeconomic Gradients in Attendance at Arts Events

Author

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  • Lunn, Pete

    (ESRI)

  • Kelly, Elish

    (ESRI)

Abstract

We critically examine and empirically test the hypothesis that the strong socioeconomic gradients characterising attendance at arts events result from similar gradients in preferences for the arts, in line with existing theories of demand for the arts derived from orthodox consumer theory. To control for preferences, we use individual measures of stated interest in the arts and reports of viewing and listening habits, as distinct from attendance at live events. These variables are strongly associated with attendance, yet despite their inclusion as covariates within a hierarchical logistic regression analysis, strong and significant socioeconomic gradients remain within the estimated models. While it remains possible that our controls do not capture sufficient variation in preferences for the arts, it appears more likely that the socioeconomic composition of live arts audiences is influenced by other factors in addition to individual preferences for the arts.

Suggested Citation

  • Lunn, Pete & Kelly, Elish, 2009. "Accounting for Taste: An Examination of Socioeconomic Gradients in Attendance at Arts Events," Papers WP283, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp283
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    File URL: http://www.esri.ie/pubs/WP283.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John O’Hagan, 1996. "Access to and participation in the arts: The case of those with low incomes/educational attainment," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 20(4), pages 269-282, December.
    2. Luc Champarnaud & Victor Ginsburgh & Philippe Michel, 2008. "Can public arts education replace arts subsidization?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 32(2), pages 109-126, June.
    3. Sir Alan Peacock, 2000. "Public financing of the arts in England," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 171-205, June.
    4. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    5. Seaman, Bruce A, 2006. "Empirical Studies of Demand for the Performing Arts," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
    6. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the Eonomics of Art and Culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152412, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Throsby, David, 1994. "The Production and Consumption of the Arts: A View of Cultural Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-29, March.
    8. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    9. Francesca Borgonovi, 2004. "Performing arts attendance: an economic approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(17), pages 1871-1885.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cabane, Charlotte & Hille, Adrian & Lechner, Michael, 2015. "Mozart or Pelé? The effects of teenagers’ participation in music and sports," CEPR Discussion Papers 10556, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Hille, Adrian & Schupp, Jürgen, 2015. "How Learning a Musical Instrument Affects the Development of Skills," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 56-82.
    3. Cabane, Charlotte & Hille, Adrian & Lechner, Michael, 2016. "Mozart or Pelé? The effects of adolescents' participation in music and sports," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 90-103.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Arts Participation; Socioeconomic Gradients; Logistic Regression; Ireland;

    JEL classification:

    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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