Saturday, November 26, 2005

Baumol's symphony orchestra

Prof. DeLong channels Marginal Revolution on the topic of European labor and musical protectionism. Here's my comment:

Let's remember that the symphony orchestra was the original case study for Baumol's cost disease: "Performing Arts: The Economic Dilemma" (1966).

A French musician can not be more productive than a Bulgarian one. His higher wage is (was) only justified by his (no longer) exclusive access to customers who are more productive than the average Bulgarian.

Heilbrun, J., "Baumol's cost disease", Chapter 11 in: Towse, R. (ed), (2003), "A handbook of cultural economics".
Read it: