Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

Éléments pour une économie des industries culturelles

SODEC, le 23 février 2005 - 2005/02/23

The Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) of Quebec recently published a book entitled: Éléments pour une économie des industries culturelles . The book by Marc Ménard, who holds a PhD in economics and has worked as a researcher for SODEC since 1998, analyzes the relationship between the economy and cultural industries. At this crucial time when economic liberalism is attempting to put cultural goods on equal footing with other types of goods, SODEC examines the characteristics of the economy of cultural industries (“an economy unlike any other”) from Quebec’s experience. Marc Ménard states that the unique nature of cultural goods corresponds to an economy with the following distinct traits: reproduction based on high fixed production costs and low reproduction costs; implementation of a high amount of creative work; constantly renewed supply; uncertain demand; each product is a prototype. Although these characteristics are not unique to culture, their importance and simultaneous appearance within the same sector correspond to cultural industries and distinguishes it from other sectors.

This model for the economy of cultural goods that the author proposes follows an analysis of the importance placed on culture in economic theories throughout history, as well as a detailed description of each of the following industries: books, records, variety shows, applied arts, film and television production. At a time when the international community is actively engaged in a debate on cultural diversity, SODEC is proud to shed further light on the topic, which helps us understand the ways in which cultural goods are absolutely unlike other goods. [05-07]