Robinson and Montgomery (2000)
|Robinson and Montgomery (2000)
|The time allocation and earnings of artists
|Robinson, M. D., Montgomery, S. S.
|Robinson, M. D., & Montgomery, S. S. (2000). The time allocation and earnings of artists. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 39(3), 525-534.
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|About the Data
|The data were collected through a survey conducted by The Research Center for Arts and Culture to examine the time allocation and earning of artists. The Information on Artists survey contains information on 4010 artists from 10 regional centers in the United States. The survey obtained information on 1988 income and hours worked in both artistic and non-artistic jobs. The attempt was made to contact as large as possible a body of respondents, and so the survey is not a random sample.
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This article presents the results of an investigation into the time allocation and earnings of artists. Artists are unique because they spend substantial amounts of time both at art work and at non-art work while earning the majority of their income from the latter. In order to empirically examine this allocation of time between art and non-art work, we estimate a four-equation system. We find that artists respond to price signals in the directions predicted by economic theory.
Main Results of the Study
- Membership in an arts union raises hourly art income by 55 percent, working with hazardous materials increases it by 15 percent, and each week traveled raises it by 3 percent.
- The findings show no gender or race differentials in art income, but a substantial differential in nonart income. Both art and nonart incomes of visual artists, who comprise 37 percent of our sample, are lower than those in every other field, except for the nonart earnings of those in film/video/television/radio.
- 19 percent of the respondents say they earn their major income as an arts instructor.
- For what concerns hours' results, a 10 percent increase in hourly art income would increase art hours by 4.5 percent and would decrease nonart hours by 3.1 percent and increase the number of nonart hours by 1.3.
- The results suggest that artists are responding to economic incentives on the margin rather than maximizing total art time.
- Having a partner's insurance coverage raises art hours by 15 percent and lowers nonart hours by 26 percent. This suggests that, for at least a part of the sample, art work is a major activity of the individuals with a working spouse and that it may be the case that a large art subsidy takes place within the household.
- Dependents have no effect on art hours and a small negative effect on nonart hours, whereas we find no significant effect of marital status.
- Union workers work 16 percent fewer art hours, which is consistent with what we expect to observe about union members.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The difference in average art and nonart earnings may suggest that artists have preferences for doing art work, but their decisions cannot be explained without reference to the nonfinancial rewards of their art. However, they respond in a relatively traditional way to economic incentives.
Coverage of Study
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