Measuring intrinsic value – how to stop worrying and love economics
This paper seeks to transcend entrenched misunderstandings between economists and arts policymakers, leaders and funders. These misunderstandings, which have long dogged discussion on arts funding in the UK, are most evident in the long-running debate about ‘instrumental’ and ‘intrinsic’ approaches to public expenditure on culture and the arts. As a general theory of public choice, economics provides tools for measuring the intrinsic as well as instrumental value of art in a way that is commensurable with other calls on the public purse. The reluctance to use rigorous economic methods has hindered rather than helped the case for the arts. This paper offers a provocative reconsideration of the outdated and poorly-informed prejudices which lie behind this reluctance. This is a prepublication draft. A version has been published electronically by Mission Models Money and can be accessed at http://www.missionmodelsmoney.org.uk/page.php?id=34
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