Access to and Participation in the Arts: The Case of Those with Low Income/Educational Attainment

JEL Classification H20 and H40

John W. O'Hagan

Department of Economics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland


This paper looks at the issue of access to the arts in terms of the very unequal attendance at and audiences for the high arts by educational grouping. The meaning of equal access is analysed, recent data for two countries, namely the United States and Ireland, are examined and new evidence is offered. The constraints/barriers to, and the rationale for, more equal attendance/audiences are examined. The paper concludes by outlining a number of possible responses to this continuing problem.