DEPS Musée du Quai Branly

3rd Conference on Cultural Economics

The past few years have seen significant changes in the scope, issues and objects of the cultural and communication economy; these latter give rise to an evolution of the modes of public intervention. The enlargement of the scope of the economy of culture takes on several aspects:

  • It results from the increasing power of the economy of knowledge, information, and intangibles, and of the industrial digital economy. The economy of culture has served as a “laboratory” for the strategies and thoughts of industrial players;
  • It is based on artistic creativity that can serve to create value even outside the activities that are traditionally cultural, in design, fashion, digital services, etc. Creativity has become a growth factor for the whole economy of services, which includes the consumer/producer in the value chain;
  • It depends on the globalisation phenomenon, which the economy of culture cannot avoid, whether it is inspired by it or rejects it, and which translates into exchanges of cultural goods and services, capital and movements related to cultural tourism and the growth of networks.

These shifts of boundaries of the economy of culture, if they are confirmed, lead to a revision of issues, methods, objects and stakes of this economy, even to questioning of its autonomy. The recognition of the importance of economic mechanisms is an incentive to adopt methods from general economics, in particular industrial economics, or used methods in order to approach the fields of intangible economy, while questions about the specific features and boundaries of the economy of culture continue to be asked around the expression “creative industries”.

The mechanisms, the processes of governance and regulation of the economy of culture in Europe stand at the crossroads: are they called on to expand in favour of a larger “creativity” field, from for instance arts and crafts to digital services, with design, advertising and video games…, or, on the contrary, do they lead to the dissolving of the unique features of the economy of culture into a more general intangible economy?

The dialogue between researchers and economic players will seek to cast light on these questions and challenges posed to all European Union member states, and make concrete propositions of cultural-policy actions, in particular towards cultural firms.