32500 - Cultural Economics

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Francesco Chiaravalloti

  • Credits 6

  • SSD SECS-P/03

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language English

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Innovation and Organization of Culture and the Arts (cod. 0902)


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Quality education Reduced inequalities Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Student is expected to get a critical picture of mechanisms affecting the markets for the arts and culture. In particular, the student is expected to understand: - the economic features and the objective-functions of the various agents in the markets for the arts and culture - the importance and distribution of information - issues related to the market for contemporary art and to the economic value of creativity.

Course contents

This course provides students with a thorough understanding of, and the basic tools to deal with, the most challenging task that they will have to face in order to become successful arts managers; that is, to convince the communities in which they operate of the values that artists and arts organizations create for society. In particular, after completing the course students will be able to articulate and communicate those values in a systematic and professional way.

The aims of the course ‘CULTURAL ECONOMICS - Value in Cultural Policy and Management’ are:

  • To provide an understanding of the influence that public (cultural) policies have on the activities of arts organizations and how they are managed;
  • To raise awareness about how the role of arts and arts organizations in society depends on the historical, cultural, social, economic and political contexts in which they operate;
  • To provide an overview of the current debate and research on the values of art for society;
  • To raise awareness about the urgency for artists, arts organizations and their managers, and policy makers to make the case for arts and culture;
  • To provide an overview of tools that helps to capture, elaborate, present, and discuss the values that artists and arts organizations create for society.

At the end of the course ‘Cultural Policy for Arts Managers’, students will be able:

  • To define Cultural Economics;
  • To define Cultural Policy;
  • To identify the main rationales, including the dominant economic one, behind current cultural policies;
  • To identify influential political actors in real cases;
  • To articulate and apply current taxonomies of the values of art to real cases;
  • To reflect on the (in)adequacy of instrumental rationality and the language of numbers in the evaluation of arts and arts organizations;
  • To apply state-of-the-art advocacy and accountability frameworks for art and culture to real cases.

The course covers the following content:

Introduction to Cultural Economics

  • The importance of economics for cultural policy and management
  • The origins of a discipline
  • Defining Cultural Economics

Economics and Cultural Policy

  • The importance of cultural policy for arts managers
  • Defining Cultural Policy
  • The politics and the economics of cultural policy

Cultural Policies: One Main Common Topic, Different Visions

  • The values of art for society
  • The contexts and the rationales of Cultural Policy
  • The characteristics of New Public Management

Debating the Values of Art

  • Intrinsic and instrumental benefits of the arts
  • The current dispute on the values of art

Capturing the Values of Art through Research on Artistic Encounters

  • The unaccomplished endeavor of shifting the study of the values of art from the instrumental to the intrinsic benefits
  • Definition and types of audience and visitors research

Communicating the Values of Art

  • The nature of the information about the values of art
  • Instruments to communicate values





Crossick, G., Kaszynska, P., 2016. Understanding the value of arts and culture. The AHRC Cultural Value Project. Swindon (Wiltshire): Arts & Humanities Research Council.

All the literature cited in the slides of the lecture and listed on the final slides of each lecture.

Teaching methods

Lectures, group work, (group) presentations, interactive discussions.

Assessment methods

The presentations and discussions of the group assignments at each session are assessed formatively (feedback); the final group portfolios including a consistent and complete summary of the partial group assignments are assessed summatively (grade).

Grading system:

• <18: fail
• 18-23:sufficient
• 24-27: good
• 28-30: very good
• 30 e lode: excellent

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Chiaravalloti