On the Economics of the Performing Arts in the USSR and the USA: A Preliminary Comparison of the Data

  • Alexandre Rubinstein
  • William Baumol
  • Hilda Baumol
Conference paper


The possibility that we might gather a set of roughly compatible statistics for the costs and incomes of performing arts organizations in the USSR and the USA constituted an irresistible opportunity for a comparative study. While we did not achieve the degree of comparability we would have liked, we believe we still have something of interest to present. The materials readily obtainable pertain only to three years spanning a single decade. We found that the determination of what is included in a specific art form and the aggregation of performing entities that are grouped for statistical purposes in the two countries differed substantially. It seemed to us, however, that there remained a basis from which inferences could be drawn if treated with sufficient caution and labelled with suitable warnings. This paper provides a summary of the data, offers some rudimentary analysis, and ends up with some conclusions suggested by the figures. These conclusions appear to be of some interest in themselves, but their main value may prove to be the guidance and stimulus they offer for future cooperative work in the area.


Purchasing Power Parity State Budget Musical Performance Total Expense Union Republic 
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  1. Chartrand, H.H. (1987) “Cultural Economics of Arts Funding: Five Variations on a Theme” in Paying for the Arts, Association for Cultural Economics, pp. 3–16.Google Scholar
  2. Marer, P. (1985) Dollar GNPs of the USSR and Eastern Europe, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore.Google Scholar
  3. Rubinstein, A. (1990) Introduction to the Economics of the Performing Arts, Supplement I–IV, Moscow.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Rubinstein
    • 1
  • William Baumol
    • 2
  • Hilda Baumol
  1. 1.American Soviet Theater InitiativeUSA
  2. 2.Princeton UniversityUSA

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