What do college students in the arts do after graduation? (updated)

What does my future hold?

They get to use what they have learned in college?: Among ... respondents employed at the time they completed the survey, 64% of recent grads and 69% of prior graduates were in jobs they described as either “very relevant” or “relevant” to their educational training. Or not?: The majority of arts graduates work in non-arts fields. Out of 2 million arts graduates nationally, only 10 percent, or 200,000 people, make their primary earnings as working artists. Let's try to sort out how and why the recent report from the Strategic National Arts … [Read more...]

Deaccessioning: A puzzle, and a speculative answer

so, why no deaccessioning?

Why is it considered unethical for nonprofit or public sector museums to sell art, except for cases when the proceeds will be directly used to acquire new art? At the Art Law Blog, Donn Zaretsky points out that if a private collector decided to open a space to display some art he owns to the public, but later decided to sell some of it, for whatever reason, it would be hard for anyone to object. But if the collection becomes a nonprofit museum... : One answer some might be tempted to give is that becoming a museum carries with it certain tax … [Read more...]

What’s new in dynamic pricing?

they will taste just fine!

There's a good, well-informed post by Tim Baker on 'The State of Dynamic Pricing'. So, what do we know so far? First, on the term. Dynamic Pricing is not about offering different prices to different market segments, nor is it about scaling the house or other quality differentials, nor about discounts for subscriptions and memberships, nor about pricing differently for shows and times where it is easily forecast that demand for tickets will be higher or lower than usual, nor about posting prices of the '$10 in advance; $12 at the door' … [Read more...]

Amazon and monopoly: encore (updated)

still don't need it

The debate that won't die. I've posted on whether Amazon is a monopoly (it isn't) here and here. Today Joe Nocera joins Matt Yglesias and Annie Lowrey in his critique of Franklin Foer's New Republic article that tries to claim dangerous monopoly powers at Amazon. Artsjournal.com blog neighbor Scott Timberg addresses Nocera: But on the larger question of whether Amazon is literally and technically a monopoly: Probably not, but the distinction is not all that important. It’s a bully, it’s destroying important institutions, and it’s getting more … [Read more...]

Culture and urban growth: we still don’t know much

a safer photo choice...

A few years ago I came across a paper by Oliver Falck, Michael Fritsch and Stephan Heblich, 'The Phantom of the Opera: Cultural Amenities, Human Capital, and Regional Economic Growth' that used a rather unique data set to try to get around the knotty problem of finding whether cultural amenities generated urban economic development, or followed urban economic development: We analyze the extent to which endogenous cultural amenities affect the spatial equilibrium share of high-human-capital employees. To overcome endogeneity, we draw on a … [Read more...]

Jean Tirole, theory and application

not an easy read, but a great book

Jean Tirole has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics. Because he works in microeconomic theory that is not easy going for those without advanced training in mathematics or economics, his is not a well-known name outside the discipline (even econ undergrad students may not have heard of him, though all graduate students will have). But that doesn't make his work any less important. His work in economic theory on incentives, principal-agent problems, and 'industrial organization' (the term that in practice means the analysis of sectors of the … [Read more...]

Art and the estate tax (updated, again)

'cause I'm the taxman...

The New York Times reports on the Elkins case, involving a victory for a wealthy family in a legal fight with the IRS on estate tax owing on a valuable art collection. This is the quote that caught my attention: “My genuine view is this is a great result for taxpayers, but I don’t think everything is clear,” said Diana Wierbicki, a partner and head of the global art practice at Withers Bergman, a law firm. “The I.R.S. dropped the ball. The I.R.S. pushed this idea that you should get zero.” The latter part of the quote concerns the discount … [Read more...]

Tax deductions for artists (updated)

operates at a loss

The New York Times reports on a court case involving whether an artist working for salary as teaching faculty can claim tax deductions of artist's expenses (for supplies, travel, meals, etc) in excess of profits earned on sales of art. My understanding of this (tax people please correct me if I have this wrong) is that these net losses can be applied against salary and other earnings, thus lowering the tax owing: The I.R.S., which accused Ms. Crile of underpaying her taxes by more than $81,000 from 2004 to 2009, argued that based on several … [Read more...]

Is Amazon.com a monopoly? (updated October 10)

still don't need it

In a comment on my previous post, on Amazon and what I saw as overheated rhetoric regarding censorship, BobG wrote: Arguing over a definition of censorship is avoiding the actual issue. Amazon IS making it difficult to get certain books (that’s their announced strategy) and they are poised to become the single biggest (if not the only) source for books in the U.S. If Amazon becomes the primary supplier of books as well as the conduit through which we get books (and hence the ability to prevent us from getting books), that gives them an … [Read more...]

This is not censorship (updated, again)

this is censored

The New York Times reports on authors forming a group to back publisher Hachette in its quest to have Amazon.com charge consumers higher prices for books. A literary agent is quoted: “It’s very clear to me, and to those I represent, that what Amazon is doing is very detrimental to the publishing industry and the interests of authors,” the agent said. “If Amazon is not stopped, we are facing the end of literary culture in America.” And author Ursula Le Guin: “We’re talking about censorship: deliberately making a book hard or impossible to … [Read more...]