Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The evolution of theatre attendance in Italy: patrons and companies

Castiglione, Concetta and Infante, Davide (2014): The evolution of theatre attendance in Italy: patrons and companies. Forthcoming in: Prieto-Rodriguez, J., Ateca-Amestoy, V.M., Ginsburgh, V., Mazza, I., O'Hagan, J. (Eds.) Enhancing Cultural Participation in the EU, Springer, ISBN 978-3-319-09095-5 (7 February 2016)

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This paper examines the Italian theatre market from both the demand and supply side. The descriptive analysis shows that the Italian theatre market is, mainly, localized in the Northern and Central Italian regions for both patrons and companies, confirming a cultural divide between the Southern and the rest of the Italian regions also in the theatrical sector. Like many other European countries, the performing arts in Italy are subsided by public funds through the so-called Fondo Unico per lo Spettacolo (FUS), thereby influencing theatre performance and attendance. As expected, the distribution of the FUS follows the localization of the theatrical companies. The empirical analysis is conducted using 34-year panel data (1980-2013) for the 20 Italian regions. By applying the seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) estimation technique, we identify the factors influencing theatre demand and supply. The estimated results confirm as determinants of theatre demand, price and consumer income and additionally, cultural capital (proxied by education), substitute goods (such as cinema) and other contextual factors (such as tourists flows and territorial area). In contrast, theatre supply is influenced by income, previous historical attendance, theatrical employment, and other contextual factors linked to territorial and public subsidies.

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