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Cultural Economics and the Internet

As suppliers of information goods and services, the arts, heritage organizations and cultural industries are very much involved in the changes brought with the diffusion of ever-new Internet-based services and digitization. Much Internet traffic consists of reproducible cultural works such as music recordings and movies. Moreover, the Internet has also had an impact on cultural services that require ‘live’ participation. This chapter addresses changes in the production, consumption and distribution of the output of the cultural sector due to Internet. It points out a number of longstanding and inspirational insights in cultural economics (on topics such as the pricing of information goods and services, or intrinsic motivation), and discusses how the concepts and practice of cultural economics could inform the study of the economics of the Internet. Furthermore, this chapter highlights gaps and unfulfilled potential for research on technological change in cultural economics.

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(In M. Latzer and J. M. Bauer (eds.), Handbook on the Economics of the Internet, Forthcoming)