IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Economic Analysis of Cultural Consumption


  • Marco GAMBARO


Cultural consumptions can foster economic development and human wellbeing thank to several positive externalities linked to growth of human capital and capabilities of complex interactions. Demand for cultural goods exhibit several special features, like rational addiction related to past consumption and the link with human capital and the mixed role of final good and investment good. Using micro data from an Istat survey with 50.000 cases I estimate an econometric model for the demand of main cultural goods that show several complementarities among them. As expected schooling exhibit correlation while time consuming activities like television viewing and Internet surfing has showed mixed results. The overlapping among different cultural consumptions appears to be fairly low. If we take concert, theatre and museum in the last 12 months only 4,8 % participated at least once in all three activities, a not so high threshold of cultural consumption compared with 45% of the population over 15 that consume at least one of them. Contrary to many beliefs the heavy consumer does not play a pivotal role in many cultural goods. People attending more than 7 times per year in each of concert, theatre or museum represent a share of total tickets ranging from 28% to 33%. That result could be important to address public policies to increase cultural consumption more toward casual consumer.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco GAMBARO, 2017. "An Economic Analysis of Cultural Consumption," Departmental Working Papers 2017-14, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Universit√† degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2017-14

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Cultural goods; Art and culture; Cinema; Theatre; Museum; Cultural consumptions; Concert; Opera; Rational addiction;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • Z2 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2017-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: DEMM Working Papers The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask DEMM Working Papers to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.