Prof. Ruth Towse and dr. Trilce Navarrete publish the 3rd edition of the Handbook of Cultural Economics

Prof. Ruth Towse, Professor Emerita of Erasmus University Rotterdam and co-founder of the MA in Cultural Economics, published the 3rd edition of the Handbook of Cultural Economics with Dr. Trilce Navarrete Hernandez.

When she was first invited by Edward Elgar Publishing to edit a Handbook of Cultural Economics as part of their new Handbook series in the 2000s, Prof. Ruth Towse made the decision to have many short, concise chapters of 2-3,000 words listed by alphabetical short titles and an encyclopaedia-type approach, rather than the longer chapters of around 8,000 words that was the format typically adopted for other titles in the series (and indeed it was the format adopted by Ginsburgh and Throsby for their epic Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture I and II in the North Holland Series). Both publications have made different but complementary contributions to promoting a wider understanding of cultural economics. The first edition of the Handbook was published in 2003 and the second in 2010 (with the assistance of Paul Stepan) maintained the same format with somewhat different titles and authors, reflecting new trends in the field and new contributions.

Since the publication of the 2nd edition, there had been fundamental changes wrought in the creative industries by digitization and internet publication which have brought about a major revolution in the production and consumption of cultural goods and services along with a minor revolution in economics with the development of platform economics. Those changes called for a more far-reaching approach to the new edition; moreover, in the intervening ten years, many more economists had become interested in the field, as witnessed in articles in the Journal of Cultural Economics (the main source of scoping authors and topics). Meanwhile, the literature on existing topics had become so well known that it did not seem necessary to retain them unless there had been some striking new theoretical development or empirical evidence. Accordingly, the third edition has a more disparate mix of topics and authors, with a few ‘classics’ by sadly deceased former contributors retained.

When the invitation came along to do a third edition, Prof. Ruth Towse felt it was time to involve someone else in the full editing process. She says: "I am after all 76 so doubt I shall do another edition!" Apart from a wide knowledge of the literature in cultural economics and in related trends, writing also involves a great deal of correspondence and tracking what may be multiple versions of one chapter. Trilce Navarrete Hernandez had been one of the first students on the new MA in Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship and one of the few people at the time with an interest in the role of copyright in the arts; she and Prof. Ruth Towse had kept in touch over the years and Prof. Ruth Towse knew that Trilce Trilce Navarrete Hernandez was prompt and reliable as well as having a broad overview of the field, characteristics very necessary for doing the task in hand.

As before, ESHCC authors or former colleagues have contributed to chapters (in alphabetical order) in the third edition: Velthuis on ‘Art Dealers’, Lavanga on ‘Cultural Districts’, Dalla Chiesa and Handke on ‘Crowd funding’, Handke on the ‘Music Industry’, Navarrete Hernandez on ‘Publishing’  and on ‘Performance indicators’ and Prof. Ruth Towse herself on ‘Creative Industries’, ‘Cultural Entrepreneurship’ (with the late Mark Blaug), ‘Music Publishing’ and ‘Performing Arts’. Hopefully, the book will be stimulating to both students and their teachers and further promote cultural economics as a worthwhile area of the economics dominion.

Description of the Handbook of Cultural Economics, 3rd edition

More information about the author

Prof. Ruth Towse
Bournemouth University, UK

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Purchase the handbook at ElgarOnline.

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To the MA Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship

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