Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on TOURIST FIRM MANAGEMENT
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
PALMA Alessandro
First 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.


During the initial phase of the course the basic skills will be assessed, in particular the principles of microeconomics, macroeconomics and public economy. As far as possible the level of the course contents, these latter will be set on the basis of the basic knowledge found during the initial phase. For students coming from different degree programs, an integration with pertinent references will be provided.


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.

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);

Block III (24 hours):
- 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 course will introduce students to the economic and managerial analysis of cultural goods. The students will be provided with the knowledge instruments to understand the nature of cultural goods and their specific markets, with a particular focus on the cultural tourism. The principles for justifying public policy interventions and their main taxonomy will be also described.

Teaching Methods

The course will be delivered mainly on lectures, occasionally supplemented by seminars during which representatives of the world of cultural goods will exhibit a topic on which they have specific experience. Depending on the number of attending students, it will be also possible to organize project works aimed at presenting and discussing a topic covered by the course. This will constitute an integral part of the final evaluation.


Candela G., Scorcu A. (2004). Economia delle arti, Zanichelli.
Ciarrapico M. e Paradiso M. (2003). Decidere per la cultura, La Bautta.

Textbooks in English:
A Handbook of Cultural Economics (2011). Edited by Ruth Towse,
Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage (2013). Edited by Ilde Rizzo.

Learning assessment

The learning verification will be conducted through a written examination, together with possible project work or case study presented by the student (s).
In particular, the achievement of the following educational objectives are expected to be verified:
· Knowledge of the characteristics of the art market
· Appropriate use of the methodological tools provided during the lectures
· Knowledge of policies in support of the cultural sector
· Through a case study, the ability to understand how cultural goods and activities can be a driving force to the cultural tourism sector and to the development of the local economy.

More information

The Italian will be the language of the course, however the teacher speaks perfectly the English language and will be available for clarifications and explanations for all those who do not speak the Italian language