‘Economic’ impact studies have been popular in arts and cultural advocacy. Yet the application is inappropriate. ‘Economic’ impact studies are not designed for the purposes of advocacy. In the case of art and culture, they are more likely to be self-defeating. They also distract attention and resources away from the articulation of better advocacy arguments. Economists have warned against the use of ‘economic’ impact studies for advocacy, but their efforts have been only partly successful. This paper summarises the case against using ‘economic’ impacts for advocacy, concentrating on commonsense issues for easy digestion by non-economists.
Economic’ impact studies in arts and cultural advocacy: a cautionary note>
Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy, no.98 (February), 2001
About this paper
This paper extends the arguments in Discussion Paper: The Economic Benefits of Art. Many thanks to the publishers, who have kindly allowed the paper to be reproduced here.
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