Arts Education: Investment in Education, Opportunity for Social Policy or Instrumentalisation of Culture?

Publication Type:



Adrian Hille


DIW Roundup, German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) , Berlin (2014)

Other Number:

ISSN: 2198-3925



The role of arts education in our society is increasingly becoming the subject of fierce debate. Is it losing significance, with culture being the victim of austerity policies and young people no longer having time for music school due to increasing stress levels at school? Does the promotion of cultural participation present new opportunities for social policy? Or is culture being instrumentalised for educational purposes? This article discusses the arguments of these debates from a perspective of education economics. At least the current state of research can serve to alleviate fears: Neither can we observe an instrumentalisation of culture, nor can arts education viably serve as a universal remedy for educational policy ambitions.

This paper is a translated version (2018) of the original article "Kulturelle Bildung: Bildungsinvestition, sozialpolitische Chance oder Instrumentalisierung der Kultur?" (2014). The provision of the translation was facilitated by the Academy of Arts Education.

(Taken from the original)