Giovanni Zanetti, Piercarlo Frigero

Cultural activities for productivity growth

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Economics of the Arts; Industry Studies; Productivity; Nonprofit Institutions; Philanthropy.

This article presents some remarks about cultural services in Italy, and an attempt to establish criteria useful to assess costs and benefits when it is difficult to define individual and collective utility, and reconcile economic efficiency with education and intellectual satisfaction. The endowment of arts and sites inherited from the past, is an opportunity of economic development, and a means of human capital accumulation enhancing tourist activities and educational opportunities. However, as pointed out by several models of the literature, there are some problems in translating individual preferences into willingness to pay, solving conflicts due to the goal of a large diffusion of cultural services, while respecting budget constraints of the non profit organizations producing them. The authors discuss the qualitative enhancement of cultural activities for productivity growth and the best use of limited public resources. In these perspectives more managerial autonomy is needed, thanks to private contributions and law incentives to collect them.

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