An artistic production function

Theory and an application to Australian visual artists

David Throsby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a production function for artistic output in which quantity and quality of output are specified as joint products from the inputs of labour and capital provided by individual artists. A model is constructed specifying the quantity of creative and commercial output and the quality of creative output as a function of inputs of labour time and of physical and human capital. Included in the latter is a variable to account for the contribution of creative talent to an artist's human capital. The model is estimated for a sample of practising professional visual artists and craftspeople in Australia. The results suggest that a model along the lines indicated may be taken as a plausible representation of the artistic production process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cultural Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Artistic output
  • Creativity
  • Production function
  • Talent

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