Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on TOURISM FIRMS MANAGEMENT
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
Second semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The course intends to introduce students to the Economy of the cultural sector , with particular emphasis on the field of the management of cultural heritage in Italian experience. To transfer the knowledge useful to understand the peculiarity of cultural and artistic goods and the implication for the functioning of the market and for the formation of market prices. Another aim is to analyse the production function of artists and the role that policy makers can play in this particular market and what are the implications for the local economy and for the development of the tourism sector.

The main objectives of the course are:

Knowledge and understanding abilities:

At the end of the course, the student acquires the knowledge useful to analyze and understand the main features of markets for art and cultural goods, what are their characteristics and peculiarities that distinguish them from other goods. He/she will be able to understand the dynamics that underpin the formation of demand and supply of cultural goods and will be able to understand what are the factors that determine the price formation of such goods. In addition, students will be able to assess the enormous potential that this sector has for the tourism market.
At the end of the course, students will have acquired the knowledge to evaluate the effectiveness and logic of public policies, carried on in Italy and other European countries, in order to support this sector.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding :

Autonomy of judgment: Once acquired the fundamental concepts of the cultural heritage economy, the student will be able to evaluate the potentialities for the development of the economy and of the productive sector, of artistic and cultural heritage. He/she will be able to understand what are the most appropriate public policies to be adopted to ensure that the cultural heritage can be a boost for the local economy, while preserving its conservation and fruibility for future generations.

Communicative Skills: The student must have the ability to easily explain the characteristics of cultural goods and of the cultural markets and the impact that a good management of artistic and cultural assets may have on tourism. It must also be able to answer clearly and comprehensively both the written and the oral tests.

Learning Skills: The student must demonstrate a good learning ability by deepening his knowledge on relevant bibliographic references on the economy of cultural goods.


The course require that students have the basic knowledge of microeconomics and the basic knowledge of Political economy of tourism.


The content of the course can be split into several blocks of lessons, whose duration depends on the level of preparation of students and their familiarity with the basic concepts of economics. On average, the course is structured as follows:

Block I (24 hours):

'Economy of Culture in the History of Economic Thinking;
- Definition and dimension of the cultural sector;
-the dynamics of cultural demand,
- the characteristics of public goods and information asymmetries in the cultural sector

Block II (24 hours):

The characteristics of the labor market of the cultural sector, the production function of artists and the copyright;

The main economic models on the cultural sector (Becker / Stigler, Throsby, Baumol / Bowen, Hansmann);
- Public Policy for Culture: Theoretical debate, Italian experience, European scenario
. -Things about major cultural industries (music, publishing, cinema)

-Organization of museums and cultural heritage management.

The main themes treated in the course are:

Economics of culture in the history of economic thought;

The definition of cultural markets, the defnition of cultural goods and cultural services, and of the demand and supply of these goods and services.

The main economic models of cultural sector: Becker/Stigler; Throsby; Baumol/Bowen; Hansmann.

The labour market in the cultural sector and the production function of an artist

Publi policies in the cultural sector and for cultural heritage, in Europe and in Italy.

Basic features of some of the major cultural industries (music, publishing, cinema)

-Organization of museums and cultural heritage management.

Teaching Methods

The method of delivery ilessons is the traditional one based essentially on the frontal lessons, but seminars will also be held where the students will have to play an active role through the presentation and organization of seminars on specific themes chosen by them, and through individual project works.
During the course, seminars and meetings will be organized with managers of museums and exhibitions, as well as with business executives working in the field of cultural sector.


Teaching Materials in English will be provided on demand.

Learning assessment

Verification of learning of the topics discussed will be conducted through oral examination or written examination.
In particular, it is intended to verify the achievement of the following educational objectives:
· Knowledge of the characteristics of the cultural markets
· Appropriate use of the methodological tools illustrated during frontal lessons
· Knowledge of public policies supporting the cultural sector
· Through a case study, the ability to understand how museums or cultural activities can be a boost for the tourism industry and the development of the local economy.

More information