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Work for Passion or Money? Variations in Artists' Labor Supply.


This paper assesses the relative impact of work for money or work for passion on Norwegian artists by examining artists’ labor supply. Our contribution is twofold. The first is to test the work‐preference model and the second is to investigate the impact of arts grants on artists’ labor supply. The empirical specification draws two distinctions: between arts and non‐arts income and between labor and non‐labor income. Non‐labor income is divided into three different sources: (1) spouse's income, (2) income from financial assets and social benefits, and (3) arts grants and subsidies. Our contribution adds to the literature by estimating the significance of these various income sources on the time allocated to arts work, non‐arts work, and leisure. The results provide convincing evidence for the work‐preference model, and ad hoc evidence shows that art grants have a significant positive effect on the supply of arts hours. This finding supports arts policy and shows the impact of art grants on artists’ motivation to work on their arts. The causality of wages on supply is demonstrated by estimating the effects of wage shocks (grants) on arts labor supply using fixed‐effect and difference‐in‐difference methods.