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Does it cost anything? - In search for pricing policies in Swedish culture

Authors Staffan Albinsson
Published in seminariepresentation Lunds universitet
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Economy and Society
Language en
Keywords Cultural economics, cultural policy, pricing strategy
Subject categories Business Administration, Other Humanities not elsewhere specified


This paper discusses pricing policies in cultural institutions in Sweden, their underlying arguments and the consequences of them in libraries, museums and the performing arts. I hesitate to identify pricing as the result of art-form logic. Instead, I conclude that what has influenced pricing the most seems to be the specific traditions of each art form rather than anything else – in effect, a kind of ‘institutional’ pricing policy. Interviews of 38 institutional leaders in 2002 and 2017 show that there are differences in the perception of culture and why institutions exist between the various art forms – ‘intensive’ culture as opposed to ‘extensive’. But they are not so large that they alone can justify the rather large differences in pricing policies.

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