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EconomistsTalkArt.org

Research-based policy analysis and commentary

INSPIRING LOUVRE OR TATE? SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING AND ENGAGEMENT IN ARTS, CULTURE AND SPORT

Daniel Wheatley and Craig Bickerton

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Does engagement in art, culture and sport have positive effects on our well-being? This research contributes to our understanding of the positive leisure experience, and cultural value, derived from engagement in arts, cultural and sporting activities. Findings indicate that the use or ‘quality’ of leisure time, rather than simply quantity, has relevance in deriving positive experiences, and is indicative of activities which exhibit a number of ‘cultural characteristics’ delivering benefits even when engaged with less frequently.

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SOMEBODY MUST KNOW SOMETHING!

John Sedgwick and Mike Pokorny

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William Goldman, the screenwriter of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, posited that ‘nobody knows anything’ about the financial risks associated with the film industry, elevated by the Harvard professor Richard Caves to the ‘nobody knows’ principle.  Our research suggests otherwise: analysis of the tremendous economic success of film studios over the past 100 years suggests to us that film making is not such a risky business and that somebody would seem to know something!

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THE ARTS CONNECT STUDENTS TO SCHOOL

M. Kathleen Thomas

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Student enrollment in public school courses in visual art, music, theatre, and dance is linked to reduced high school dropout even after controlling for observable student and school characteristics expected to influence both arts participation and school commitment. Agencies that support arts education should invest in experimental studies to produce causal evidence about the impact of arts on the student outcomes stakeholders care about.

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A HISTORY OF THE ART MARKET IN 35 RECORD-BREAKING SALES

Christophe Spaenjers, William N. Goetzmann and Elena Mamonova

picasso-femmes-d-alger

When Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)” sold at Christie’s in New York for $179 million dollars in May 2015, it was only the 36th time in the past 315 years that a world auction record had been set, and the sale raised questions well beyond the art world. How could a single painting be worth so much? Why is art so important to wealthy households? What economic and social factors could lead to enshrining Picasso’s colourful near-abstract portrait as the most valuable picture in the history of the modern world?

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MUSIC AND THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: A SAD-ONOMICS APPROACH

Samuel Cameron

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The economic analysis of music is at a crossroad. Digital innovations undermine the concepts of production deeply embedded in economics textbooks. Do we need a new production function? Can this be the SAD (serendipity, authenticity and drugs) production function extended to allow for the creation of value in the consumers’ subjective perceptions?

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WHY ARE THERE SO MANY ART THEFTS, AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THEM?

Frederick Chen and Rebecca Regan

Art theft.png

More than 50,000 pieces of artwork are stolen each year globally, and many cases of art crimes are facilitated by lax security at museums. How can economic theory account for these observations, and what kind of policies would help reduce the incidence of art thefts?

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