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Are Workers in the Cultural Industries Paid Differently?


  • Wetzels, Cécile

    () (University of Amsterdam)


This paper aims to explore wage differentials between employees in three sub-industries of the cultural industries compared with the main (1-digit level) industry to which they belong. We use data from the Wage Indicator Questionnaire 2001/2002, which includes information on 12,757 employees in the Netherlands. We find that workers in these particular sub-industries of the cultural industries are paid differently compared with their respective main industries. Workers in entertainment and publishing and printing are less endowed with standard labour market characteristics. However, whereas workers in entertainment face negative price or evaluation-related effects, the opposite holds for workers in publishing and printing. Workers in IT are more endowed with standard labour market characteristics, but they receive lower rewards for their labour market characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Wetzels, Cécile, 2007. "Are Workers in the Cultural Industries Paid Differently?," IZA Discussion Papers 2821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2821

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
    2. Ann P. Bartel & Nachum Sicherman, 1999. "Technological Change and Wages: An Interindustry Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 285-325, April.
    3. Allen J. Scott, 1997. "The Cultural Economy of Cities," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 323-339, June.
    4. Abbing, Hans, 2002. "Why Are Artists Poor?," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9789053565650, March.
    5. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
    6. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    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. Blaug, Mark, 2001. " Where Are We Now on Cultural Economics?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 123-143, April.
    9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brinja Meiseberg, 2014. "Trust the artist versus trust the tale: performance implications of talent and self-marketing in folk music," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 38(1), pages 9-42, February.
    2. Françoise Benhamou, 2011. "Artists’ Labour Markets," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Amir Borges Ferreira Neto & Ricardo Da Silva Fregugli, 2014. "How Much Does Talent Matter? Evidences From The Brazilian Formal Cultural Industry," Anais do XLI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 41th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 233, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].

    More about this item


    IT-services; entertainment; Netherlands; printing and publishing; wage differentials; decomposition;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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