Yesterday morning I heard an interesting story on NPR‘s Morning Edition.  The piece highlighted a recent report issued by the Rand Corporation concerning the link between the arts and the economy.  I was perplexed by its findings and am not quite sure that this rings of non-partisanship as it should.  Here is a printed story on the same topic at Cultural Commons.

According to Gifts of the Muse, while existing research studies of cognitive, behavioral, health, social and economic benefits of the arts offer evidence that the arts can produce such instrumental public benefits for individuals and communities, they suffer from three main limitations:

-Many studies have not been able to show a direct causal relationship between exposure to the arts and the benefits claimed. Most studies have only been able to establish a correlation between arts involvement and the presence of benefits.

-While research has linked the arts to benefits, it has given little indication about what type of exposure, frequency and characteristics of the individual involved is required to produce those benefits.

-The studies do not acknowledge that the arts are only one means to achieve such benefits and they may not be superior to other means.

The actual report can be read here.