Caretaking the Culture: Museums strive for financial stability
(This article appeared in EconFocus magazine, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond)
Art museums don't respond in the usual way to the forces of supply and demand that underpin markets for most com- mercial goods. Though the market for buying and selling art functions just fine, museums aren't in the business of selling art for profit: They show and preserve the art and educate the public, a money-losing proposition almost by definition. As such, the services provided by museums are often consid- ered public goods that may not adequately be produced by the for-profit sector.