Explicit and implicit cultural policy: some economic aspects

David Throsby*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


This paper considers the explicit/implicit cultural policy distinction from the viewpoint of economics, suggesting that some economic policies have a hidden cultural purpose, and therefore qualify as implicit cultural policy. Examples in the public policy arena are drawn from macroeconomic policy, immigration, taxation, labour market policy, media regulation and international trade. Some of these may involve deliberate cultural change, in others the effect on culture may be unintentional and in still others the policy is simply reflective of the cultural status quo. The paper goes on to look at the reverse possibility, i.e. that some explicit cultural policy may be implicit economic policy; creative industries policy is put forward as an illustration. The possibility that all these types of implicit policies may be exercised also by non-government agents is briefly discussed. The paper concludes with some observations about the implications of the implicit policy concept for cultural policy studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
Journal The International Journal of Cultural Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • cultural policy
  • economic policy
  • creative industries
  • implicit policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Explicit and implicit cultural policy: some economic aspects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this