Next Wednesday (7/2) Lecture by Giovanna Segre. Economy and Culture

June 30, 2008 at 10:07 am Leave a comment

Giovanna Segre is assistant professor of Public Finance at the Faculty of Economics of Turin University, where she teaches Economics of Culture and Public Economics. She also collaborates with EBLA CENTER – International Center for Research on the Economics of Culture, Institutions, and Creativity – of Turin University. Her research focuses on cultural economics and welfare economics.


One day at Cittadellarte: Topics

1. How do economists define culture?

One definition of “culture” given by David Throsby (2003) refers to the set of attitudes, practices and beliefs that are fundamental to the functioning of different societies and groups defined in geographical, political, religious, or ethnical terms. Culture thus finds its expression in a particular society’s values and customs, which evolve over time as they are transmitted from one generation to the next. Accordingly, culture is both tangible and intangible. The stock of tangible cultural capital assets consists of buildings, structures, sites and locations endowed with cultural significance (called “cultural heritage”) and artworks and artifacts existing as private goods, such as paintings, sculptures, and other objects. Intangible cultural capital includes the set of ideas, practices, beliefs, traditions and values which serve to identify and bind a given group of people together, however the group may be determined, together with the stock of artwork existing as public goods in the public domain, such as certain instances of literature and music. We will discuss this approach and some others.

2. Culture and economic development: which relations?

In industrialised countries, an increasing number of goods and services incorporate an essential, intangible added value deriving from design, aesthetics, and symbolic and identity values: the key elements of today competition, when competition cannot take place through costs cutting. Recent economic literature explicitly considers the role of culture and intangibles in fostering economic development and identifies the main factors involved. Within this context, we will analyze a new approach where the creative value chain, starting from the pure cultural artistic dimension, drives economic systems in the field of applied research and creative production. Culture works as a systemic “activator of innovation” through its impact on people’s willingness to invest in the development of their cognitive competences, in a virtuous circle that endogenously sustains the supply of new creative products. Technology alone cannot lead to sustained innovation in the long run; ‘core’ cultural activities and cultural investment are needed.

3. The “3 T” theory by Richard Florida

In the past few years there has been a stream of new literature on the issues of creative cities and culture-led local development. In particular, books by Richard Florida (2002, 2005) have sparked a considerable amount of interest in the potential of local policies aimed at attracting talented creative workers, high-tech firms, creative minorities, and so on. We will discuss weak and strong elements of this theory.


Entry filed under: unidee.

Uni-topia:Video Lecture_01 with Kyohei Sakaguchi (artist, musician, writer) Lecture by Yona Friedmann at Ratti Foundation this Thursday (7/3)

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