Informations and abstract
This paper recalls the creative industries mapping made by the UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the 1990s and afterwards, to highlight the traits assigned to the thirteen sectors identified as creative industries, their differences and similarities with those of the traditional culture industries and the meanings of the expressive value of their products as defined by David Throsby. The linkage between their creative (expressive or artistic) and functional constituents, as well as their marketability, are also stressed as elements identifying the creative products, with the risks of the «experience goods» and of «sunk costs» that make it problematic their contribution to economic growth and job creation. These aspects, that illustrate how vulnerable could be an economic activity centered on its creative components, are not yet tackled with adequate attention in the international debate. Different critical approaches, and wider meanings given to the «creative economy», make it more difficult to have a well-grounded idea about if and why creative industries are increasingly important components of modern knowledge-based economies and, mainly, what kind of public policies could be carried out to improve them.