Creative Economy

Using Economic Theory to Understand the Cultural Sector
Verbredende minor
10 weken


The main objective of this minor is for students to develop an advanced understanding of:

  1. economic foundations of the cultural sector
  2. the role of arts and culture in the wider economy
  3. the challenges and opportunities for those trying to make a living in the cultural sector

Overall, students will gain a cultural economics perspective. They will learn about the tension between financial interests and cultural values and how the world of culture copes with this tension. They will learn about the peculiar practices found in the art market, in marketing and organization of culture, and the workings of cultural organizations. In a course on the creative economy they will study recent developments that point at an increasingly important role of creativity in the modern world. Not just for this reason, the cultural economics perspective is an effective means to challenge preconceived ideas and develop new insights regarding many current, social and economic developments.

Learning objectives

After completing the minor, students should have a wide-ranging knowledge and critical understanding of:

  • the cultural economic perspective;
  • the economic dimension of the world of the arts;
  • recent developments in the creative economy;
  • the particularities of cultural organizations.

Special aspects

Proficiency in spoken and written English is essential. We advise a VWO-final examination grade of 7 or higher, a TOEFL-test minimum score of 100 or an IELTS-test minimum score of 7.

Overview modules

Module 1: The Cultural Economic Perspective (CC9007)

  • Code: CC9007
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: The main objective of this course is to familiarize students with key concepts and major perspectives – developments, trends, and problems – in the economics of art and culture. The course will present the cultural economic perspective as developed by David Throsby, Michael Hutter, Bruno Frey and Arjo Klamer. The central question is how artists and cultural organizations realize the social and cultural values of their artistic work. We will consider the relevance for cultural policies in the Dutch and European context.
    During the lectures these concepts will be discussed mainly from a theoretical perspective, but the workgroups will focus on applying them to concrete economic phenomena that are familiar to students from their everyday life or from the world of arts and culture.
  • Teaching method: Lectures and tutorials.
  • Teaching materials: Relevant articles and chapters, one video.
  • Contact hours: 4 hours per week.
  • Self study: 8 hours per week.

Module 2: Money and the Fine Arts (CC9008)

  • Code: CC9008
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: In this course students will study the tension between fine art and money, and the problems of commercializing artistic processes. The course will be divided into three parts: in the first part, we will discuss different exchange models for art goods illustrated by historical and contemporary case studies and, in the second part, the focus will be on the specifics of contemporary art market (prices, values, indices, rules and conventions, and actors). The third part focuses on globalization of the art market (for example: emerging art markets).
  • Teaching method: Seminars.
  • Teaching materials: Articles and book chapters.
  • Contact hours: 3 hours per week.
  • Self study: 9 hours per week.

Module 3: Creative Economy and Creative Organisations (CC9009)

  • Code: CC9009
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: The economy is changing. The ‘Creative Age’ and the role of creative assets are increasingly seen as a source of competitive advantage and generators of economic growth. The course examines the forces that have led to an increased interest in creativity and the consequences of this turn; the way artists and creators shape cities and how creativity is seen as ‘the golden thread of urban policy’; the impact of technology; the processes that support the making of culture versus those that support its exploitation; and policy and practice at local, national and international level.
  • Teaching method: Lectures.
  • Teaching materials: Articles and book chapters.
  • Contact hours: 3 hours per week.
  • Self study: 9 hours per week.

Overview content per week

Module 1 - The Cultural Economic Perspective:
Week 1: Introduction to the course
Week 2: Value and Worth
Week 3: Economic and Cultural Value
Week 4: Artistic and Economic Value
Week 5: Value in Time
Week 6: Information Value
Week 7: Cultural Capital and Happiness
Week 8: Measuring Value

Module 2 - Money and the Fine Arts:
Week 1: Arts worlds and art markets
Week 2: Support for the arts
Week 3: Intermediaries and spaces
Week 4: Homogenisation and diversification
Week 5: Wages and careers
Week 6: Emerging art markets
Week 7: Excursion
Week 8: Price and value

Module 3 - Creative Economy and Creative Organizations:
Week 1: The Creative Age – an overview
Week 2: Cities & Creativity: Culture as the golden thread of urban policy
Week 3: The World is Flat: technology & its impact on creative industries, artists & audiences/consumers
Week 4: Mindset & Motivation
Week 5: In-depth Case: The Creative City
Week 6: In-depth Case: Public Institution (Cultural) & Technology
Week 7: Class Excursion/Guest Speaker
Week 8: Class Debate/ Group Presentations


Method of examination

Module 1 - The Cultural Economic Perspective:

  • assignments
  • presentation
  • take-home essay

Module 2 - Money and the Fine Arts:

  • presentation
  • assignments
  • final essay

Module 3 - Creative Economy and Creative Organizations:

  • mid-term essay
  • group presentation
  • written examination

Composition final grade

Module 1 - The Cultural Economic Perspective:
• Assignments (15%)
• Mid-term essay (35%)
• Take-home essay (50%)

Module 2 - Money and the Fine Arts:
• presentation (25%)
• assignments (20%)
• final essay (55%)

Module 3 - Creative Economy and Creative Organizations:
• mid-term essay (30%)
• group presentation (30%)
• written examination (40%)

Minor students should obtain a pass mark for each of the three modules; it is not possible to compensate for a score below the pass mark.


Feedback will be provided, as students will have the opportunity to review their marked examinations and they receive a justified mark for their assignments.

Frequently asked questions


Contact information

Christian Handke
room: M7-18

Faculty website

Verbredende minor
10 weken
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication
Studiepunten (EC)
Campus Woudestein


Please read the application procedure for more information. 

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