Aleksandar Keseljevic (Univerza v Ljubljani)


Course description

The main aim of this course is to enable students to understand and critically analyze cultural phenomena in the contemporary world through economic and management lenses. The course will enable students to comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of managerial and economic approaches in the field of culture. Participants of the course will be able to apply different research methods in cultural economic decision making and for policy analysis at the micro and macro level.

Doing so the course is structured into the following main parts:
1. History of culture and social development (Culture as a public and private good. Value of culture. The role of culture in the development. Culture and sustainable development. Culture and economic systems. The impact of religion).

2. The role of the market in culture (Consumption of cultural goods. Demand and supply of cultural goods. Valorization and pricing. Elasticity of demand in culture. Economic and cultural value of works of art. The role of competition and cooperation. Commercialization of culture. Theories of value in culture).
3. Evaluation of the cultural policies (Market failures in culture and cultural policy. Economic effects of cultural policies. Evaluation of cultural policies. Economics of public budgets in culture. Taxation and subsidies in culture. Practical problems of implementation and evaluation of cultural policies. The role of the state and local communities in the provision of public interest in the field of culture).

4. Management and organization in cultural institutions (Cultural institutions and cultural infrastructure. Legal, financial and employment-based aspects of cultural organizations. Capital gathering, costs and marketing in cultural institutions.).

5. Leadership and organizational culture (Managerial methods in cultural organizations. Strategic management in culture. Business policies and internationalization in culture. Culture of organizations as an organizational culture).

6. Entrepreneurship in culture and cultural industries (Development of business opportunities in culture. Business models in culture. Start-ups in cultural and creative sectors. Cultural industry. Economic aspects of the cultural/creative industries. Market forms and structures).

7. Labor market in culture and art (Special features of work in culture. Supply and demand for labour. Labour market for artists. in the arts. Regulation of the labour market. Income inequalities. Precarious forms of work. Clustering in various artistic professions. The role of the unions).

8. Economics of cultural tourism and cultural heritage (The role of cities and cultural heritage. Destination management as contemporary development in cultural supply. Economics of cultural heritage. Valuation methods for cultural sites. Globalization and trade of cultural goods).


Teaching methods and evaluation methods
The course includes lectures (providing the theoretical and methodological frameworks) and class discussions (Debate “pro et contra”). Each week, the students will be given reading assignments for the following lecture in order to actively participate at the course. Students will be invited to propose issues that have been raised in their country of origin or of their special interest. Two teams of students shall be required to prepare by the following week a public debate »pro et contra« on the selected topic. Both teams shall present their arguments during a public debate following a previously defined protocol. Cross examination allows the two teams to challenge the opponents, request clarification of arguments and refute their claims. The forum with other students in the class, taking place at the end of the discussion, shall have a similar form. After the end of the debate, the class shall select the winning team by raising hands (score bonus). The written report is a prerequisite for taking part in the debate and it shall be the basis for the final assessment of each team's work. All other students (not actively engaged in the debate groups) have to write their weekly reports in which they will argument their positions regarding the thesis.

Evaluation and scoring
• Written final exam: 50%
• Weekly reports (individual work) and active class participation: 25%
• Debate “pro et contra” (group work): 25%

Learning outcomes
After completing this course, students will be able to:
• Learn the history and development of cultural economics as a scientific discipline.
• Develop the ability to understand and critically analyze cultural phenomena through economic and management lenses.
• Develop the ability to apply various research methods in the analysis of cultural phenomena.
• Prepare students for individual research work in culture and art.
• Prepare students for competent cultural-economic decision making in organizations and decision bodies (government, UNESCO).
• Understand practical problems within cultural institutions and cultural industry.
• Outline framework for efficient implementation and evaluation of the cultural policy at government level.


Literature (selected chapters).
• Frey, B.S. (2019): Economics of Art and Culture. Springer International Publishing.
• Throsby David (2010): The Economics of Cultural Policy, Cambridge University Press.
• McGuigan, Jim (2004): Rethinking cultural policy. Maidenhead: Open University.
• Ginsburgh, V. in Throsby, D. eds. (2006, 2013), The Handbook of the Economics of Arts and Culture, vol. 1 and 2. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
• Snowball, J.D. (2008). Measuring the Value of Culture: Methods and Examples in Cultural Economics. Berlin and New York: Springer.
• Throsby, D. (2001). Economics and Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Towse, R. (2010). A Textbook of Cultural Economics. New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Debate topics.
• Supplementary texts/articles.


Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,

phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510

VAT: 02928970272