Performing arts attendance: an economic approach
This paper examines to what extent art education, prices and standard socio-economic characteristics influence attendance at professional performing arts events (theatre, classical music, opera, ballet and dance). It distinguishes the influence such variables have on whether a person participates or not, from the effect that they have on the number of times a person decides to attend. The introduction of art education and price variables is likely to reduce the omitted variable bias present in previous empirical studies and improve estimations. Art education is highly correlated with participation, while it is not equally associated with frequency of attendance. Prices and geographical concentration are generally not correlated with participation, however there are large differences among art forms and economic resources appear to be relevant in the case of classical music. Policy makers can use information on what results can be expected from policies aimed at reducing prices or increase art education in the population in their attempt to improve attendance and increase access to the performing arts.