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The role of cultural consumption in reducing social exclusion: empirical evidence from Italy in a spatial framework

Aniello Ferraro (), Massimiliano Cerciello (), Massimiliano Agovino and Antonio Garofalo ()
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Aniello Ferraro: University of Naples Parthenope
Massimiliano Cerciello: University of Naples Parthenope
Antonio Garofalo: University of Naples Parthenope

Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, 2019, vol. 36, issue 1, No 7, 139-166

Abstract: Abstract Social exclusion represents one of the main societal challenges outlined by the Europe 2020 strategy. An influential strand of the theoretical literature argues that cultural consumption may have positive social effects, favouring tolerance and fighting prejudice, thus reducing social exclusion. However, this claim has not been tested on the field. This work investigates empirically the relation between social exclusion and consumption of cultural goods in a spatial framework. Using Eurostat data, we compute the Local Moran Transition Probability Matrix for Italian Regions (NUTS-2) over the 2004–2014 timespan. The results show that social exclusion decreases significantly with cultural consumption. In particular, the spatial clusters that emerge when mapping social exclusion break up when controlling for cultural consumption. These findings point out to the importance of governmental support to cultural goods as an instrument to fight social exclusion. In this sense, cultural goods are to be viewed not only as merit goods and sources of entertainment, but also as a societal heritage and a policy instrument.

Keywords: Social exclusion; Spatial analysis; Cultural consumption; Cultural policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B55 C33 Z11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s40888-019-00144-w

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Handle: RePEc:spr:epolit:v:36:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s40888-019-00144-w