Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Baumol’s Cost Disease and The Future of the Arts

We’ve all heard the theory that because there are no productivity gains in the arts (which is arguable), and costs inevitably increase over time, our sector will become more and more dependent on contributed income to survive. The author of this article, Duncan Webb, addresses this issue head on and believes it is a theory that arts organizations are denying.

Let me start off by saying that I think Webb is completely pessimistic and does not even attempt to offer any remedies. At first, I was expecting Webb to pose solutions to Baumol’s principle and became excited for an answer to a question I’ve been tackling for awhile. Well, that never happened. Webb essentially states that arts organizations will eventually fall behind and then offers minor suggestions to alleviate that inevitable fall. There is obviously no right answer to this ordeal, and maybe I was too dependent on Webb providing some deep and meaningful insight, but I like to think there are ways we can address this principle without feeling doomed.

Thoughts?

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This entry was posted on November 12, 2014 by .
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