The behaviour of artists appears to be influenced by non-pecuniary benefits that lead to employment choices inconsistent with traditional expectations of labour supply theory. The paper develops a model of employment in the arts with similarities to the Harris-Todaro model. Seemingly paradoxical results arise. For example, the model illustrates how an increase in wage rates for non-artistic activity may lead to a reduction in the amount of non-artistic activity and a commensurate increase in the amount of time devoted to artistic endeavours. Additionally, the model illustrates how individual work preferences of artists can lead to substantial underemployment in the arts. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd/University of Adelaide and Flinders University of South Australia 2004.
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