Do artists suffer from a cost-disease?

Tyler Cowen, Robin Grier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We consider the Baumol-Bowen cost-disease argument from the perspective of an artist's occupational choice. Both theory and evidence suggest that the incentives to create art do not diminish and probably increase in a growing market economy. First, countervailing factors may check or limit the operation of the cost-disease. Second, artists can increase their productivity by generating new ideas. New ideas provide the base for all productivity improvements, whether in the arts or in industry. Third, the arts are not necessarily labor-intensive, as cost-disease proponents allege. Fourth, the available statistical evidence implies that economic growth has favorable effects on artistic production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-24
Number of pages20
JournalRationality and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996


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