Culture and Public Finance
Author: MICHAEL RUSHTON
Published in PFM, Vol. 4 No. 1
This paper serves as a guide to the current literature on culture and public finance, and as an introduction to the papers contained in this symposium. Justifications for public funding of the arts have been given on the traditional economists’ grounds of the correction of market failure in the allocation of resources and in achieving a more equitable distribution of resources, as well as by the communitarian ideal of the state’s using its resources to shape the character of individuals and society. Whatever the merits of these arguments for public support, there are difficult public management and organization issues that arise in the cultural sector that are different from those encountered with other publicly-financed goods and services. For the effective public finance of cultural goods the devil is in the details, and it is in those details that we find new and promising research programs.
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