Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Business Honours


School of Business


Faculty of Business

First Advisor

David Hough


It is important for governments to recognise employment generation resulting from public expenditure. Funding alternatives that are a cost effective way of generating employment are key objectives in public finance. One funding alternative is the arts. The arts have to compete with other economic activities for a share of government funding. As a result of increased competition, the economic contribution of the arts has become an important issue in arts advocacy. Therefore, it is important that the measure of employment generated by arts funding is accurate and reliable. Arts employment data is generated by cultural organisations applying for public funding through the Australia Council. The problem is that the existing method of calculation, though reasonably detailed, ignores employment of contracting artists and inaccurately accounts for part-time employment. The purpose of this study is threefold: (1) To develop a more accurate measurement of employment in arts organisations than currently exists with the ·Australia Council via its employment data generation, by including in the measurement, the amount of part-time and contracted-artist employment. (2) To identify the amount of government funding that translates into equivalent full-time jobs. (3) To demonstrate and explain ii the problems and distortions that arise by the use of employment multipliers. These problems are addressed at a sample of two theatre companies: Deck Chair Theatre and Spare Parts Puppet Theatre. The measurement developed: The Government Arts-Funding Employment Ratio shows the amount of government funding that translates into equivalent full-time jobs. This is developed in two versions. One including the effects of an employment multiplier, the other ignoring these effects. The multiplier effect means that for every job within the theatres, 1.667 jobs are generated outside the theatres. The results, ignoring the multiplier effect, show that during 1989-1991, every $30,220 of government funding to Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, translated into one equivalent full-time job. At Deck Chair Theatre, over the same period, every $25,821 of government funding translated into one equivalent full-time job.