Deciding which cultural economics session to attend

Economists spend a lot of time figuring out the factors that influence a decision. They determine which factors are more important than others and to what extent they contribute to the decision making process. The availability of information is key to informed decisions. Also important is awareness of one’s preferences and values. On the third day of this international conference on cultural economics (ACEI 2010 in Copenhagen), I had to choose one of 8 parallel sessions to attend

Economists spend a lot of time figuring out the factors that influence a decision. They determine which factors are more important than others and to what extent they contribute to the decision making process. The availability of information is key to informed decisions. Also important is awareness of one’s preferences and values.

On the third day of this international conference on cultural economics, I had to choose one of 8 parallel sessions to attend from 09:00 to 10:30 before a half-hour coffee break and one of 3 panel discussions from 11:00 to noon. The rooms were dispersed on the ground floor, first floor, and second floor of the impressive and spacious building of Copenhagen Business School.

As a musician, I am interested in the topics to do with music, performance, concert production, marketing, copyrights, and musicians’ careers. As an individual, I am also curious what I could learn from areas outside of music, especially topics I have absolutely no background, on the assumption that I might be surprised and learn something useful.

In short, I could find every topic interesting. The 8 parallel sessions were arranged by topic. Each session offered three to four papers. The titles, authors, and abstracts were available online weeks ago. A majority of the 185 papers submitted for presentation (which ranged from a few pages to 30 or 40 more) were available as PDF download from the ACEI 2010 website.

If only I could clone myself or send agents to the ones I did not attend, I would be quite happy.

In the end I used the process of elimination to eventually narrow down to two sessions. Can you guess which session I chose to attend?

Cultural tourism 1:
care of historical belongings, good practice in Europe, cultural heritage routes in South Africa

Creativity 3:
cultural clusters and the example in Copenhagen, sustainable town development example of a Japanese town, Italian viewpoint of culture-led local development

Copyrights 3:
license and rights distribution for copyright uses on the Web, intellectual property rights case of 19th century Italian operatic music, effects of early music copyrights on composers’ careers

Art market 2:
role of digital information sources in the art market prices, expert evaluations in the Low countries, investment in visual art

Media 1:
influence of funding by advertising on diversity of TV broadcast, how broadcasting quotas harm program diversity, control European TV in the digital age

Funding 3:
do policy reviews matter study of arts in Australia, sponsoring in times of economic crisis

Demand 2:
threatre participation through attendance, consumer choice of theatrical productions, democratisation in the gastronomic market

Museums 3:
who contributes to the British Museum, pay as you go for museum pricing, causes of variation in museum attendance rate in USA, museum demand function estimation

Hypothesis formation in cultural economics (Danish)

Efter keynote foredrag om økonomien i forbindelse med medier og kulturarvssteder, som anerkendte økonomer Gillian Doyle og Bruno S. Frey henholdsvis 250 konferencedeltagere indkaldes til en sandwich frokost. En time senere, vi alle spredt i flere parallelle sessioner for præsentationerne af det første sæt på 185 papers præsenteres i starten af ACEI 2010 konferencen.

Selv om min primære interesse er musik, jeg indså snart, at jeg kan blive nødt til atttend sessioner IKKE på musik til at lære af lignende eksempler. En anden måde at vælge er ved berømmelse af højttaleren, i hvilket tilfælde jeg skal kigge efter Arjo Klamer, Ruth Towse, Hans Abbing, og David Throsby.

Note: I don’t know which button I accidentally pressed on this Danish keyboard, but it translated my English text into Danish. Luckily I retrieved the English version (next blog).

Efter keynote foredrag om økonomien i forbindelse med medier og kulturarvssteder, som anerkendte økonomer Gillian Doyle og Bruno S. Frey henholdsvis 250 konferencedeltagere indkaldes til en sandwich frokost.

Den 37 nationaliteter hurtigt splittet op i geografiske og alder klynger ved frokosttid. På et bord var ældre økonomer, hvis skelsættende papirer om ophavsret, kulturelle værdier, og andre vigtige bidrag til den kulturelle økonomi gjort dem kendte navne i denne relativt unge området, som nogle vil sige grænser på kanten af økonomi (ikke ulig miljøøkonomi som et belgisk professor hævdede på rådhuset døgnet aftenen før). På andre borde de yngre økonomer gravitated mod ph.d.-forskere, som allerede havde mødt hinanden den foregående dag. Jeg befandt mig klemt mellem sidstnævnte.

Der var andre klynger, som de tre nordmænd i slutningen af min frokost bordet og gruppen af japanske på et andet. En time senere, vi alle spredt i flere parallelle sessioner for præsentationerne af det første sæt på 185 papers præsenteres i starten af ACEI 2010 konference.

Konferencer som denne er en markedsplads for praktikere med problemer i deres søgen efter forskere med løsninger, og forhåbentlig vice versa. Jeg klagede til Professor Tyler Cowen går, at jeg ønskede nogle af resultaterne af den kulturelle økonomi ville nå praktiserende tidligere. I sandhed, jeg havde at grave ret svært at finde, læse og forstå konsekvenserne af offentliggjort forskning på dette område. Som en praktiserende læge, var det ikke altid indlysende, hvordan den videnskabelige artikler oversat til brugbar visdom. Cowen bemærkede, at der var masser af kulturelle økonomer og praktikere, men måske ikke folk, der var en blanding af både han så som kræves for at bygge bro (i kommunikation).

Kløften var meget tydelig. Den første parallel session jeg deltog var ene om musik og film piratkopiering, i vid udstrækning økonometriske undersøgelser, styrede drøftelserne om metode og data. Den anden session jeg valgte, var det modsatte – museum management, finansiering, oplevelse og digitalisering / dokumentation. Drøftelserne var baseret på praktisk erfaring, med højdepunktet er Tate Modern som et vellykket eksempel på privat finansiering.

Mens du de forskellige papirer til rådighed for download fra konferencens hjemmeside, Fandt jeg mig selv at formulere en ny hypotese om deltagelse i disse parallelle møder.

  1. Papers, der ikke er tilgængelige (dvs. ikke er knyttet fra hjemmesiden, ikke fremlagt eller ikke er tilgængelige for preview) kommandoen vis nysgerrighed. Flere mennesker kan deltage i disse møder på grund af manglende oplysninger, medmindre de abstracts slingre dem på anden måde.
  2. Papers, der er velskrevet kan ikke nødvendigvis trække på størrelse med publikum som forventet på grund af risikoen for alt for mange oplysninger, også fuldstændige oplysninger (for at gøre den delegerede beslutte ikke at deltage), eller den forkerte information (at føre uddelegere en forkert beslutning ikke at deltage).

Selv om min primære interesse er musik, jeg indså snart, at jeg kan blive nødt til atttend sessioner IKKE på musik til at lære af lignende eksempler. Der er mange paralleller mellem at danne en koncert og igangsætning af en udstilling, for eksempel.

En anden måde at vælge, hvilken session til at deltage er ved berømmelse af højttaleren, i hvilket tilfælde jeg skal kigge efter Arjo Klamer, Ruth Towse, Hans Abbing, og David Throsby.

Free concert at University of Copenhagen

Listed in the programme of the ACEI 2010 conference on cultural economics today at 19:00 is a free concert at the University of Copenhagen. As a delegate I was given no information in the conference pack except for an envelope containing two post-concert drink tickets.

Listed in the programme of the ACEI 2010 conference on cultural economics today at 19:00 is a free concert at the University of Copenhagen. Music aficionados with opportunity costs of doing something else for the evening would question,”What kind of concert? Who is playing?”

If it were a free concert, I would like to invite my Danish hosts to accompany me. As a delegate I was given no information in the conference pack except for an envelope containing two post-concert drink tickets.

I asked a man at the registration desk, “Where is the concert? Who is playing? Are there seats available to bring other people?”

I could not get a definite answer until I met a professor from the university who had organised the event.

“Nobody is playing,” the grey-haired Dane replied. “It’s a choir.”

“What kind of choir?”

He could not tell me what kind of choir or the name of the choir. I decided not to ask about the programme. “Where is it? Can I bring my friends?”

“It’s at the University. Norreport metro station. 4 minute walk. You can’t miss it. Everyone knows where the University of Copenhagen is.”

“Will there be food or should we have dinner first?”

“Have dinner after the concert at 20:00. But you’re on your own.”

This conversation just goes to show that concerts, like lectures by famous professors and international conferences on cultural economics, are not the main and only attraction. People go to meet other people. People go for community.

I wonder if any other of the 250 delegates bothered to find out the details of this evening concert. Surely as cultural economists they would be weighing the trade-offs of spending their time with other delegates versus some other meaningful activity, such as preparing for their presentations or discussing the intricacies of their research.

Or could I be mistaken by the lure of the two “free drink” tickets? They are incentives for networking, i.e. sit through the concert and stay afterwards to mingle and socialise. The concert serves as a mere gathering point. Who sings what or whatever isn’t imporant. It’s the occasion that counts. And the drinks, of course.