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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Spring 2006


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39585 MW
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
BRB 1.118

Course Description

An exploration of the economics production and consumption in the visual and performing arts, the cultural industries, and cultural institutions such as museums and libraries, with a brief examination of international trade and investment in these fields, from which a variety of nagging controversies has sprung. The course provides an introduction to the growing field of cultural economics, structured so as to provide a comprehensive view in a way that is accessible to those whose background in economics is limited but also that is challenging to those majoring in economics. Basic concepts in economics will be explained, when necessary, as we go along in the belief that, put in context, the basic analytical constructs of economics can be readily understood. Students in the fine arts, film, and such will, in fact, find their knowledge of particular branches of arts production an advantage. At the same time, those who have had the foundation courses in economics will be able to build on their disciplinary familiarity to tackle more complex issues. After we compare and contrast the industrial organization of different branches of cultural production, we shall explore the role of the creative sector in development and consider what policy frameworks enhance this role. We shall particularly welcome cross-country and cross-regional comparisons as we go along. We shall conduct the course as an undergraduate seminar, inviting, from time to time, guest specialists as resource persons to give students familiarity with interview design and techniques for eliciting relevant information.

Grading Policy

Each student will prepare a paper of four pages, double-spaced, analysis on each of four topics to be assigned during the term. These will count for 64% of the grade. Consistent attendance and active participation in class discussions will count for another 16% of the grade, and the final examination will count for 20% of the grade.


James Heilbrun and Charles Gray, The Economics of Art and Culture (2001, 2nd edition) Richard E Caves, Creative Industries: Contracts between Art and Commerce (2000) Tyler Cowen, In Praise of Commercial Culture (1998) Tyler Cower, Creative Destruction: How Globalization is Changing the World's Cultures (2002) -optional References: I shall provide an extensive book list, partly annotated, to assist you in exploring the growing literature in cultural economics and the parts thereof that may be especially relevant to your particular interests. Additional bibliographic citations will enable those interested in doing so to compare cultural economics with sports economics, a kindred field to the performance arts in many respects.


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