The economic value
of culture in Spain

Presentation. The economic value of culture in Spain. 2000-2004

Cover of The Economic Value of Culture in Spain

It is as unequivocal to recognise the importance of the social value of culture as it is essential to recognise culture as a source of wealth generation for Spanish society. The purpose of this study is to present a rigourous analysis of the contribution of creativity to wealth generation, in particular by evaluating its contribution to Spain's GDP, as established in the Government's Comprehensive Plan for Reducing and Eliminating Activities that Infringe Intellectual Property Rights, which was approved in 2005.

The contents of this study represent a major step forward in the development and implementation of methodologies that make it possible to measure the effects of culture on the economy. This publication gathers together the main results of the statistical research project started by the Ministry in 2005 with the aim of establishing estimates of the economic value and contribution of the cultural sector and intellectual property related activities to the Gross Added Value and Spain's GDP.

These estimations, the primary source for which was the National Accounts, complemented by information from other official statistical sources, constitute an invaluable tool for the overall evaluation of the real contribution of cultural activities and activities related to intellectual property rights.

This is a high value added service due to the use of information that already existed in official statistical sources as the basis of the study. As a result, the Ministry would like to thank the INE (National Statistical Institute) and the AEAT (Tax Agency) for their valuable and efficient contributions by allowing a number of their statistical projects to be incorporated into the study, without which it would not have been possible to prepare these estimates.

The existence of activities related to culture and activities related to intellectual property rights that, in principle, should not be considered strictly cultural in nature, but which the Ministry has to be aware of, led us to approach the study in this dual area of research. The study, therefore, has examined both cultural activities and activities linked to intellectual property. The same methodology was used to examine both areas, which made the comparative analysis of the results much easier.

The sectors examined in the analysis of the cultural sector were: Heritage: Archives and libraries; Books and press; Plastic art; Stage art; Audio-visual and multimedia (Cinema and video; Recorded music; Television and radio). Activities in each of these areas were examined, distinguishing their position in the production chain for cultural assets and services, and in the following stages: creation, production, manufacture, dissemination and distribution, promotion and regulation activities, educational activities and auxiliary activities.

The analysis of activities related to intellectual property rights was based on the areas listed above, excluding the Heritage sector and the promotion, regulation and education stages, but adding the Information and Advertising sectors.

The strong interrelations of the sectors mentioned with other areas of the economy and which are sometimes difficult to delimit, the absence of information, and the difficulty of matching some classifications are areas that provided impetus to the research process, but which should not be forgotten when the work is evaluated. For this reason, and as the report is highly technical, we have included a detailed breakdown of the presence of culture in the official classifications used and the greatest possible level of detail of the methods applied in each calculation.

In addition, the report includes comparisons with other sectors of the economy and with other countries. It should be pointed out that making international comparisons presented many difficulties as no standard international methodology has been established for this.

The results cover the five-year period 2000-2004, although those for the last three years in this period are still provisional as a result of the nature of the information used in the calculations. This department intends for this project to be ongoing, so that in the future it will be possible to follow the performance of the figures reported.

This project was instigated and designed by the Ministry of Culture in 2005 and its objectives were carried out by recognised experts through co-operation agreements with universities. The first of these agreements was with Madrid's Carlos III University, which prepared an initial methodological study analysing possible procedures for obtaining the estimates required in the terms established by the Ministry.

Following this initial study, a methodology to be used in this type of work was defined. Subsequently, this methodology was reviewed and implemented through an agreement with the University of Valencia in order to produce the figures for the period contained in this report.

We hope that the results presented, and the details of the methodology, will enable the economic value of culture and activities related to intellectual property rights to be understood more fully.


Carmen Calvo
Minister of Culture


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