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    Funding of cultural institutions

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    Many of Italy's great art treasures are owned and managed by the government. Italy's cultural institutions, however, are in trouble because of inadequate government funding. In response, the government in 2002 set up a new state agency whose purpose was to value Italy's cultural treasures and decide what could be sold or leased to private firms. Is it appropriate for a nation to privatize its museums?

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    The standard economic case for government support of the arts contends that it corrects a beneficial externality. The arts, while directly enriching artists, art firms, and art consumers, also produce benefits that accrue to the rest of us in terms of education, prestige, and expressive freedom. People benefit from living in culturally enriched communities, and the communities receive ...

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    The expert examines funding of cultural institutions.