Some of the links in my Flanagan post didn’t work. Apologies. They’re now fixed.
And Flanagan himself has offered some clarifications of things I summarized in his work, which I’ll put up here shortly. Remember that I’m in the same position as people I criticized in my post. I’m not a social scientist, and I might well get things wrong when I venture into the kind of territory that’s usually patrolled by experts.
Which leads to my most important clarification. A social scientist friend told me that I’m wrong to say Baumol’s theorizing hasn’t been significantly challenged. If you read a standard text on the economics of the arts – The Economics of Art and Culture, by James Heilbrun and Charles M. Gray — you’ll find an argument against Baumol. I’m not going to summarize their argument, or debate it; I’ve ordered the book, and when I get it, maybe I’ll have something to say. There are economists who disagree, of course.
Certainly I wish I’d known this before I wrote my post. Still, I don’t mind serving as an example of the point I made in the last paragraph. If you’re not an expert, you venture into expert territory at your peril.
I met Bob Flanagan, by the way, at a conference this past weekend on research about orchestras. And I liked him quite a bit.