Measuring the Economics of Traditional Craft Production

  • Simon Ellis


Even specialists disagree on whether craft must be handmade or can involve mechanisation, and whether it must use all ‘natural’ materials or artificial elements such as plastics or chemical dyes. In the face of these problems the paper argues for a pragmatic approach based on cross-tabulating key elements of national statistics and linking them to local surveys. Perhaps the most important national data come from the Labour Force Survey, conducted in most countries. Similar data on household production may be obtained from the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Survey. Such national standard surveys allow craft to be placed within the national economy. They can then be used as a benchmark for local surveys based on interviews with craft producers. The paper suggests some core themes for such surveys. The paper then presents critiques of measurement the value chain and household accounting, which often form the basis for craft economics.


Traditional craft production Cultural economics Craft economy Value chain Household accounting 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.MontrealCanada

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