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By Frederick Van and Der Ploeg


'If it is art, it is not for everybody and if it is for everybody, it is not art', Arnold Schönberg, 1945 No good comparable data on the sizes of cultural sectors of the countries of Europe exist. Impressions of preliminary data suggest that local and national governments of Europe spend substantial resources on culture and that the cultural sectors contribute significantly to employment and national income. After describing the special features of cultural goods and clarifying some misconceptions about the value of culture, valid and invalid arguments for subsidising culture are discussed. Although it is easy to understand that governments want to preserve their heritage, the large subsidies for the performing arts are more difficult to grasp. Due to changing technologies and the advent of E-culture classic publicgood arguments for government intervention in broadcasting and other cultural activities become less relevant. Different institutions varying from selection by arts councils, bureaucrats or politicians to less directed tax incentives lead to very different cultural landscapes. Recent theories of delegation suggest delegating the judgement on artistic qualities and execution of cultural policy to an independent Arts Fund. The Minister of Culture should concentrate on formulating a mission for cultural policy and make sure it is implemented properly. The insights of the theories of local public goods and federalism ar

Year: 2011
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