David Throsby is internationally known for his research and his many publications on the economics of art and culture. A distinguished professor in the Department of Economics, at Macquarie University, Sydney, Throsby holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Sydney and a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics.

He has been a consultant to a number of national and international organisations including Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian Museum, the Copyright Agency Limited, and VISCOPY. At an international level, he has been a consultant at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), UNESCO, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank.

He is a member of several Editorial Boards, including the Journal of Cultural Economics, the International Journal of Cultural Policy, Poetics, the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management, and the Journal of Cultural Property.

He is the former president of the New South Wales branches of the Australian Agricultural Economics Society and the Economic Society of Australia, the Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI), and was Foundation Chair of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA).

Amongst his research interests, we find the role of culture in economic development, the economic situation of individual artists, the economics of the performing arts, the creative industries, heritage economics, and the relationship between cultural and economic policy.

Read more about David Throsby in our profile on the /encatcSCHOLAR for lifelong learning on policies and cultural management, issue #03.

ABSTRACT: ‘Diversity and sustainability in the cultural sector: What can economics tell us?’

On 3 October, Professor David Throsby will deliver his keynote speech at the 2019 ENCATC Congress.

When the UNESCO General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity in October 2001, it described cultural diversity as a common heritage of humanity that should be interpreted as an adaptive process with a capacity for expression, creation and innovation. Since then, engagement with these capacities of cultural diversity has expanded into a range of different areas of policy and practice in the cultural sector. Over the same period, ideas about sustainability and sustainable development, which emerged into prominence in the international discourse in the 1980s, have also expanded, leading amongst other things to the formulation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. In the cultural arena, how are these two disparate concepts, diversity and sustainability, linked? A hint is provided in the Universal Declaration where it says that cultural diversity is “as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature”. But when it comes to policy and practice in the cultural sector of the modern economy, the linkages go much further. I will discuss the way in which economists approach these issues, outlining the basic concepts and principles in the economics of art and culture that can provide insights of use to cultural practitioners and policy-makers. The lecture will be illustrated with examples of how the concepts discussed can be translated into real world application at both institutional and regional/national levels.