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The Rise and Fall of Festivals: Reflections on the Salzburg Festival


  • Bruno S. Frey


The paper takes a closer look at cultural festivals such as musical or operatic festivals. From an economic viewpoint the paper shows that such festivals offer great artistic and economic opportunities, but that at the same time these opportunities are also easy to destroy. Empirical evidence from the Salzburg Festival show that government support can have negative effects on the innovative and economically success of festivals by introducing distorting incentives and imposing all sorts of restrictions. The paper draws policy suggestions on how the state can support art festivals.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruno S. Frey, "undated". "The Rise and Fall of Festivals: Reflections on the Salzburg Festival," IEW - Working Papers 048, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:048

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Victor Ginsburgh & Pierre-Michel Menger, 1996. "Economics of the arts: selected essays," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1655, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Baumol, W.J., 1993. "Social Wants and Dismal Science: The Curious Case of the Climbing Costs of Health and Teaching," Working Papers 93-20, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    3. Bruno Frey, 1999. "State Support and Creativity in the Arts: Some New Considerations," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 23(1), pages 71-85, March.
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