The changing role of education as we move from popular to highbrow culture
- 164 Downloads
Education is the socioeconomic variable that has the greatest impact on cultural participation. A higher level of education leads to greater interest and taste for culture increasing the demand of culture. But education can also indirectly affect cultural consumption because the higher the level of education, the higher the expected income and, therefore, the greater the cultural consumption. In this paper, we analyze the effect of education on cultural consumption once the impact of income is controlled for. Using information on attendance to cinema, performing arts and visits to sites of cultural interest, we analyze how the effect of education changes between these activities. To do so, we estimate a Zero Inflated Ordered Probit using the 2006 and 2015 Spanish modules of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. We find that the effect of education varies between activities, being its marginal effect more relevant for highbrow activities than for popular culture. On the contrary, given a certain level of education, an increase in income will bring more people to the cinema than to theaters or museums. This result is consistent with the idea that highbrow cultural consumption involves the comprehension of more complex symbolic elements, and individuals’ decoding abilities depend more on education than on income.
KeywordsCultural participation Education Cinema Performing arts Museums
This study received funding from Government of Spain (Projects ECO2016-76506-C4-1-R and ECO2017-86402-C2-1-R) and the Regional Government of the Principality of Asturias (Severo Ochoa programme). We are especially grateful to Obra Social Fundación la Caixa that generously funded the working paper that was the beginning of this research. The usual disclaimer applies.
- Ateca-Amestoy, V., & Villarroya, A. (2017). Measuring participation in the arts in Spain. In V. M. Ateca-Amestoy, V. Ginsburgh, I. Mazza, J. O’Hagan, & J. Prieto-Rodriguez (Eds.), Enhancing participation in the arts in the EU: Challenges and methods (pp. 19–33). Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Baumol, W. J., & Bowen, W. G. (1966). Performing arts-the economic dilemma: A study of problems common to theater, opera, music and dance. New York: Twentieth Century Fund.Google Scholar
- Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. G. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
- Colbert, F., Beauregard, C., & Vallée, L. (1998). The importance of ticket prices for theatre patrons. International Journal of Arts Management, 1(1), 8–15.Google Scholar
- Gray, C. (2003). Participation. In R. Towse (Ed.), A handbook of cultural economics (pp. 356–365). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Musgrave, R. (1959). The theory of public finance. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- O’Hagan, J. (2017). European statistics on participation in the arts and their international comparability. In V. M. Ateca-Amestoy, V. Ginsburgh, I. Mazza, J. O’Hagan, & J. Prieto-Rodriguez (Eds.), Enhancing participation in the arts in the EU: Challenges and methods (pp. 3–17). Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Seaman, B. A. (2005). Attendance and public participation in the performing arts: A review of the empirical literature. Nonprofit Studies Program, Georgia State University, Working Paper 05-03.Google Scholar
- Throsby, D. (1994). The production and consumption of the arts: A view of cultural economics. Journal of Economic Literature, 32, 1–29.Google Scholar
- Throsby, D. (2003). Cultural capital. In R. Towse (Ed.), A handbook of cultural economics (pp. 166–169). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.Google Scholar