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Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 23, Issue 1–2, pp 33–49 | Cite as

The Subsidized Muse: Government and the Arts in Western Europe and the United States

  • Annette Zimmer
  • Stefan Toepler
Article

Abstract

Using the neo-classical justifications for government support of the arts that Dick Netzer discussed in The Subsidized Muse as a starting point, the article contends that market failure is not an useful concept to understand and explain cultural policies and the degree of government involvement, particularly when viewed from a comparative perspective. The basic fault is that historical- institutional arrangements and the role of non-state actors in the formation of cultural policies are not taken into account. Discussing some aspects of the institutional framework in the development of French, Swedish and U.S. cultural policies, the article concludes with a call for the use of neo-institutionalist perspectives in analyzing government intervention in the arts field.

cultural policy neo-institutionalism market failure cross-national research welfare state 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annette Zimmer
    • 1
  • Stefan Toepler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceWilhelms-University of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Policy Studies, Center for Civil Society StudiesThe Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreU.S.A

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