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The Importance of Culture To the Well-Being of Societies John Gordon Culture and Art-related Activities OECD Statistics Directorate Measuring Well-being and Societal Progress OECD/ CRELL-JRC Workshop Milan, June 19, 2006 Culture Statistics at the OECD New special project

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The Importance of Culture To the Well-Being of SocietiesJohn GordonCulture and Art-related ActivitiesOECD Statistics DirectorateMeasuring Well-being and Societal ProgressOECD/CRELL-JRC WorkshopMilan, June 19, 2006
culture statistics at the oecd
Culture Statistics at the OECD
  • New special project
  • Economic Importance of Culture
  • Funded by a voluntary contribution from the Louise T. Blouin Foundation
what is culture
What is Culture?
  • Anthropological

Culture is learned as a child and as children we learned from those around us a particular set of rules, beliefs, priorities and expectations that moulded our world into a meaningful whole. That is culture.

Ruth Benedict in Patterns of Culture

a holistic view of culture
A Holistic View of Culture

Source: D. Paul Schafer: Revolution or Renaissance

artistic culture of particular interest
Artistic Culture of Particular Interest
  • Ability to Reflect
  • Ability to Focus
  • Ability to Look across time
breadth of impact
Breadth of Impact

“The Impacts and significance of the arts and culture - as part of a continuum and ecosystem of creativity and innovation – are now widely understood to reach far beyond intrinsic values and touch on matters . . . such as social cohesion, economic innovation, regeneration, the creative and knowledge economy, inward investment strategies, tourism and quality of life.”

International Intelligence on Culture & Cultural Capital Ltd. & Partners

for Honk Kong Arts Development Council

economic connections
Economic Connections
  • Direct GDP Contribution of Culture Industries and Culture Institutions
  • Culture Tourism
    • Visit to Milan in order to attend La Scala
  • Culture Enhanced Tourism
    • 62% of tourists to France chose France after seeing the country in a film
  • Culture Influenced Decisions
    • Choice of business location because of cultural amenities
does the connection go beyond economics
Does the Connection Go beyond Economics?
  • A healthy GDP

- requires –

  • A productive workforce

- which requires –

  • A healthy social environment

- which requires –

societal wellbeing
Societal Wellbeing
  • What is it ?
  • Can we measure it ?
  • Do we need decision-making models that go beyond classical economics ?
  • Would the problems related Sustainable Development (for example) be less severe if a different decision model had been used ?
  • Are other models available ?
  • What would they look like ?
some measures of wellbeing
Some Measures of Wellbeing
  • Life expectancy
  • Ratio of days of peace to days of conflict
  • Suicide rates
  • Social cohesiveness
  • Bhutan Index of Happiness
  • Health and vitality of arts & culture
potential indicators
Potential Indicators
  • Outputs / GDP / Jobs
  • Balance-of-trade in culture products and services
  • Government / Private sector funding
  • Diversity – in multiple dimensions
  • Local control of policies and practices
  • Domestic creation and production
  • Shelf space for domestic culture – access
  • Citizen participation in cultural activities
  • Social Cohesion - Identity
  • Balance – Society-wide composite indicator
quantitative measures
Quantitative Measures
  • Define the scope of inclusion
    • Clearly understood
    • Standard classifications
  • Sufficient level of detail
  • Measurable
  • Policy relevant
  • Internationally comparable
the culture sector s share
The Culture* Sector's Share
  • Culture Contribution to GDP
    • Australia 3.3% (1998)
    • Canada 3.8% (2001)
    • UK 5.0 – 7.8% (2003)
  • Culture Portion of Labour Force
    • Australia 4.8% (2001)
    • Canada 3.7% (2002)
    • France 3.4% (2002)
    • UK 4.3 – 6.4% (2004)
the pesky
The Pesky *
  • Classification Standards
    • ISIC
    • ACLC (ANZSIC)
    • NAICS
    • UK SIC
    • NACE
  • Even when separate classes exist, they not always in the same place in the structure

e.g., Australia: Antique sales in with Museums

  • Very often only part of a class applicable
the pesky 2
The Pesky * (2)
  • Some areas not always present
    • Advertising
    • Crafts
    • Design
    • Arts education
    • Festivals
    • Software, computer games
    • Religion
    • Sports
    • Tourism
what we know so far negative
What We Know So Far - Negative
  • Culture not is well served by most existing standard classifications
  • National Accounts often lack sufficient detail
  • Significant secondary cultural activity – both industry and occupation
  • Volunteer activity not captured
  • Non-homogeneous activity and small isolated pockets require large samples/census
what we know so far positive
What We Know So Far - Positive
  • Considerable interest in many countries
  • A growing number of national frameworks
  • Broad agreement on major categories
  • Some satellite accounts do exist
  • Data/statistics are being produced
  • OECD prepared to become a player
what s still to come
What’s Still to Come
  • More data extractions and “harmonisation”
  • Occupation standards
  • Product classifications
  • Non-economic indicators

People don't necessarily get involved with culture for economic reasons therefore we should not expect to get a full measure of a culture’s importance using economic indicators alone.

  • International Workshop

Paris: December 4-5, 2006

preliminary themes
Preliminary Themes
  • Economic data/statistics, reliability, relevance to informing policy, comparability
  • Problems with classification structures, lack of sufficient detail, impurities, allocation factors, satellite accounts.
  • Social indicators of the health and vitality of the arts/culture sector. Measures of social cohesiveness, balance, . . . 
  • Linkages: culture - wellbeing - environment - productivity -economy
thank you
Thank You

John Gordon

Culture and Art-related Activities

Statistics Directorate

OECD

Paris

Tel: +33 (0)1 45 24 14 74

E-mail: [email protected]

[email protected]

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