Artistic Education Matters: Survival in the Arts Occupations

Trine Bille, Søren Jensen

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    The literature of cultural economics generally finds that an artistic education has no significant impact on artists’ income and careers in the arts. In artists’ labor markets, indefinable features such as talent and artistic creativity apparently contribute more to success or higher rates of payment than education and training. In this article, we will readdress this question by looking at the artists’ survival in the arts occupations. We find it reasonable to expect than an artistic education can have a significant impact on artists’ careers because of the importance of technical skills, networks and signaling effects. We analyze the question by using a unique longitudinal dataset for five different groups of artists in Denmark, using the Cox model to apply survival functions and semi-parametric analysis. The results show, among other things, that an artistic education has a significant impact on artists’ careers in the arts, and we find important industry differences.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Cultural Economics
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)23–43
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: 17. June 2016


    • Artists’ careers
    • Survival functions
    • Arts education
    • Artists’ earnings

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