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Is “cost disease” contagious ? The case of early music ensembles - P. François

Pierre François
Centre de sociologie des organisations (CSO–FNSP/CNRS), 19, rue Amélie, 75007 Paris, France

Available online 7 March 2007 on ScienceDirect

The article aims to supplement traditional explanations of why performing arts institutions tend to run a deficit. The case of early music ensembles shows that the traditionally cited mechanisms do not suffice to explain why these institutions catch Baumol’s “cost disease.” Baumol’s model may be supplemented by another, based on two related hypotheses : the deepening deficit of early music ensembles is related to their going professional and is due to the fact that they are simultaneously competing with subsidized orchestras on two markets : the concert market and the labor market for musicians.

Keywords : Cultural policy ; Market ; Labor market for musicians ; Early music ensembles

Article Outline

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Return to Baumol’s law
  • 3. Deliberately running a deficit ?
  • 4. The professionalization model
    • 4.1. The argument
    • 4.2. The model
      • 4.2.1. Defining early music ensemble deficits
      • 4.2.2. Competition on the market for musicians
      • 4.2.3. Competition on the concert market
  • 5. Conclusion
  • References

Sociologie du Travail
Volume 49, Supplement 1, March 2007, Pages e34–e49
Translation by Amy Jacobs