Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 23–43 | Cite as

Artistic education matters: survival in the arts occupations

  • Trine Bille
  • Søren Jensen
Original Article


The literature of cultural economics generally finds that an artistic education has no significant impact on artists’ income and careers in the arts. In artists’ labor markets, indefinable features such as talent and artistic creativity apparently contribute more to success or higher rates of payment than education and training. In this article, we will readdress this question by looking at the artists’ survival in the arts occupations. We find it reasonable to expect than an artistic education can have a significant impact on artists’ careers because of the importance of technical skills, networks and signaling effects. We analyze the question by using a unique longitudinal dataset for five different groups of artists in Denmark, using the Cox model to apply survival functions and semi-parametric analysis. The results show, among other things, that an artistic education has a significant impact on artists’ careers in the arts, and we find important industry differences.


Artists’ careers Survival functions Arts education Artists’ earnings 

Supplementary material

10824_2016_9278_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, Politics and PhilosophyCopenhagen Business SchoolCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.SFI, The Danish National Centre for Social ResearchCopenhagenDenmark

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