About the ACEI

Who we are

The Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI) is a membership organisation that brings together a
diverse range of scholars and practitioners from around the world that share an interest in research about
economic aspects of the arts and culture.

The methods and approaches used in research is not strictly limited to economics and the Association welcomes
contributions from a range of disciplines that facilitate a better understanding of economic, business, social and
policy aspects related to the arts and culture.

The ACEI has an active membership spread around the globe and welcomes new members.

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As a member of the Association you have the opportunity to be listed in the current members section
of our website. Choosing to be listed here is optional but a benefit of having this information visible is that can
assist you in forming connections with other researchers (and for others to connect with you). Being listed as a
member on the ACEI website is voluntary and members may elect at any time to either be listed or to cease being
listed by changing their membership profile settings.


The purpose of the Association is to promote scholarly investigation of issues concerning the economics of the arts and cultural activities, broadly defined.

The Association provides opportunities for sharing the findings and results of such research to:

  • – members of the academic community,
  • – the community of arts and heritage organizations,
  • – the community of arts practitioners,
  • – the community of the artists,
  • – and other interested parties.

The Association also aims to provide a scholarly community that connects scholars, industry, practitioners and policy makers from around the world to promote understanding about the economics of arts and culture.

Current Office Bearers and the Executive Board

From July 2023 the Executive Board of the Association is comprised of:

  • Luis Cesar Herrero
  • President (2023-25)
  • University of Valladolid
  • Spain
  • Karol Jan Borowiecki
  • President-Elect (2023-25))
  • University of Southern Denmark
  • Denmark
  • Trine Bille
  • Past President (2021-23)
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • Denmark
  • Paul Crosby
  • Executive Secretary-Treasurer (2024-)
  • Macquarie Univeristy
  • Sydney

In addition to the current office bearers, the following ACEI members play an active role in the management of the Association and serve as members of the Executive Board.

  • Chiara dalle Nogare
  • Executive Board
  • University of Brescia
  • Italy
  • Christian Handke
  • Executive Board
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Netherlands
  • Christiane Hellmanzik
  • Executive Board
  • Technical University of Dortmund
  • Germany
  • Ana Flávia Machado
  • Executive Board
  • Federal University of Minas Gerais
  • Brazil
  • Trilce Navarrete Hernandez
  • Executive Board
  • Erasmus University
  • Netherlands
  • Jen Snowball
  • Executive Board
  • Rhodes University
  • South Africa
  • Yuki Takara
  • Executive Board
  • Chiba Keizai University
  • Japan
  • Aleksandra Wiśniewska
  • Executive Board
  • University of Warsaw
  • Poland
  • Joanna Woronkowicz
  • Executive Board
  • Indiana University
  • USA

Honorary Fellows

The Association gratefully recognises the valuable contributions made to advancing cultural economics through the award of Honorary fellowships (formerly known also as Distinguished Honorary Fellows).

Honorary fellows and the year they have been recognised with this award by the Association include:

  • Professor
  • Michael Hutter
  • 2023
  • Professor
  • John O’Hagan
  • 2021
  • Professor
  • Françoise Benhamou
  • 2021
  • Professor
  • William Baumol
  • 2016
  • Professor
  • Ruth Towse
  • 2016
  • Professor
  • Victor Ginsburgh
  • 2012
  • Professor
  • Bruno S. Frey
  • 2010
  • Professor
  • David Throsby
  • 2008
  • Professor
  • Dick Netzer
  • 1998
  • Professor
  • Sir Alan Peacock
  • 1996

Governance Structure

The ACEI Constitution outlines how the Association is governed and includes details about the election and appointment of office bearers and Board members as well as detailing the mission and purpose of the Association.

As a membership society the ACEI is governed by a constitution and its elected officers. Elections take place following the plenary conference. The President, President-Elect and Past President each hold office for two years; members of the Executive Board hold office for six years and two are elected every two years.

The President-Elect is responsible for the programme for the next biennial conference and becomes President at the Annual General Meeting held during that conference.

The Association encourages broad international participation in all its offices.

ACEI Communications Board

The Association has a dedicated Communications Board to oversee all aspects of communications including our social media presence and regular newsletter. Current members are invited to make contact with members of the Communications Team to promote their research via the association’s official communication channels.

The ACEI Communications Board consists of the following members: Trilce Navarrete Hernandez (Chair), Luis Cesar Herrero (President), Paul Crosby (Secretary-Treasurer), Andrea Baldin, Marie Ballarini, Bronwyn Coate, Elisabetta Lazzaro and Andrej Srakar.

Official ACEI communication channels and the contact responsible include:

ACEI Website Paul Crosby
ACEI Newsletter Paul Crosby
ACEI Twitter Paul Crosby
ACEI LinkedIn Marie Ballarini
ACEI YouTube Marie Ballarini
ACEI FaceBook Marie Ballarini
Economists Talk Art Blog Trilce Navarrete Hernandez and Alice Fontana
Cultural Economics Online Seminars          Elisabetta Lazzaro
Journal of Cultural Economics Book Reviews Bronwyn Coate
ACEI Working Paper Series Andrea Baldin

The Association’s Humble Beginnings

The humble beginnings of the association date back to the 1970s when Professor William Hendon, along with James Shanahan and colleagues from the University of Akron, Ohio, formed the Association for Cultural Economics (ACE). In 1977, Prof. Hendon created the Journal of Cultural Economics (JCE), which he edited himself and produced entirely from a single printing press. The newly formed ACE and JCE quickly captured the interest of prominent economists, including Mark Blaug, William Baumol, and Sir Alan Peacock. The invaluable contributions made by these economists (and many others) to the ACE and the Journal of Cultural Economics laid the foundations for the field of cultural economics, as it is known today.

In 1979, Sir Alan Peacock organized the ACE’s first international conference of cultural economics in Edinburgh, Scotland. The conference was a great success and served to establish the ACE as a scholarly society in the academic world. Following this initial debut, the ACE held further conferences in collaboration with host organizations around the world.

Conferences were held in

Maastricht, Netherlands


Akron, Ohio, USA


Avignon, France


Ottawa, Canada


Umea, Sweden


Fort Worth, Texas, USA


Witten/Herdecke, Germany


Boston, United States


Barcelona, Spain


Minneapolis, United States


Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Chicago, United States


Vienna, Austria


Boston, United States


Copenhagen, Denmark


Kyoto, Japan


Montreal, Canada


Valladolid, Spain


Melbourne, Australia


Online Globally


Bloomington Indiana, United States


Igniting International Scholarly Discourse

These conferences, sponsored by the ACE sparked global discussion and scholarly investigation into the integral role of the arts in economic development. Slowly, over time, the focus of discussion at these conferences, naturally evolved towards data-based analysis of the arts and culture, which gave rise to the development of various econometric modelling techniques as well as alternative methods for quantifying the true value of creative arts, heritage, and culture.

Growth and Transformation of the Association and its Journal

By the early 90s, ACE membership had expanded considerably, and the Journal of Cultural Economics similarly had begun to achieve greater recognition within the academic community. These achievements prompted great changes for both. Influential members of the ACE, including David Throsby, Ruth Towse, Mark Schuster and Dick Netzer, worked diligently to both develop an official constitution for the ACE as well as establish a formal editorial board for the Journal of Cultural Economics. By 1992, their efforts had paid off and the ACE was now governed by a newly elected executive board and President. It was around this time also, that the ACE was renamed the Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI), in recognition of its growing international focus and spread.

In 1993, the Journal of Cultural Economics was purchased by Kluwer Academic Publishers. The newly elected president of the ACEI, Dick Netzer facilitated the transfer of ownership and secured an agreement between Kluwer and the ACEI, which gave ACEI members automatic subscription to the journal, as part of their membership. This agreement established the Journal of Cultural Economics as the official journal of the ACEI. In 2005, Kluwer was taken over by Springer and to this day, Springer remains the publisher of the Journal of Cultural Economics.

Scholarly Recognition for the Journal of Cultural Economics (and the Field of Cultural Economics)

The transformation of the Journal of Cultural Economics into a reputable academic journal, along with transformation of the association itself into a globally recognized scholarly society, paved the way for cultural economics to be given an official classification within economic literature. Specifically, in 1993, the Journal of Economic Literature invited prominent cultural economist, David Throsby to write an article about cultural economics. This article, titled “The Production and Consumption of the Arts: A View of Cultural Economics,” was published by the Journal of Economic Literature in 1994 and established the field of cultural economics as a distinct and unique subdivision within economic literature, with the classification Z1 in the JEL’s classification system for economics.

Contributions of the ACEI to Academic Literature

From its establishment in 1992, the ACEI, via its biennial conferences, and collaborations with regional associations, has achieved significant developments in the field of cultural economics. These milestones of academic progress can be found in several series of handbooks, including: the two-volume compendium of literature in the field edited in 1997 by Ruth Towse entitled Cultural Economics: the Arts, the Heritage and the Media Industries; the Handbook of Cultural Economics, also edited by Ruth Towse and now in its third edition (edited by Ruth Towse and Trilce Navarrete Hernàndez, 2020); and the two-volumes of the Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, edited by Victor Ginsburgh and David Throsby and published in 2006 and 2013.

Additionally, achievements in the field of cultural economics have also contributed to the development of other fields of study. Notably, the model of unbalanced growth, developed by cultural economists, William Baumol, and William Bowen, and discussed in their 1966 publication titled “Performing Arts – The Economic Dilemma,” was adopted and applied to studies of the healthcare industry (as well as other industries where productivity lags occur). 

These significant achievements of the ACEI over the years were made possible by the efforts of its many dedicated past presidents, listed below:

Past Presidents of the ACEI :


  • Dick Netzer
  • Professor
  • New York University
  • USA
  • Michael Hutter
  • Professor
  • Witten/Herdecke University
  • Germany
  • David Throsby
  • Professor
  • Macquarie University
  • Australia
  • John O’Hagan
  • Professor
  • Trinity College Dubin
  • Ireland
  • Bruce Seaman
  • Professor
  • Georgia State University
  • USA
  • Victor Ginsburgh
  • Professor
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium
  • Charles M. Gray
  • Professor
  • University of St. Thomas
  • USA
  • Ruth Towse
  • Professor
  • Bournemouth University
  • UK
  • Gillian Doyle
  • Professor
  • University of Glasgow
  • UK
  • Roberto Zanola
  • Professor
  • Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont
  • Italy
  • Francoise Benhamou
  • Professor
  • University Sorbonne Paris Nord
  • France
  • Arjo Klamer
  • Professor
  • Erasmus University
  • The Netherlands
  • Ilde Rizzo
  • Professor
  • University of Catania
  • Italy
  • Alan Collins
  • Professor
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • UK
  • Trine Bille
  • Professor
  • Copenhagen Business School
  • Denmark

ACEI Today

Today, the ACEI exists as a membership society with elected officers, an executive board, and an official constitution. The ACEI continues to recommend the appointment of the Editors of the Journal of Cultural Economics and set the academic standard for the field of cultural economics. 

In recent times, the ACEI has been instrumental in the achievement of greater collaboration between academics in the fields of cultural economics and public policy (pertaining to the arts). These efforts will no doubt contribute not only towards greater development in academic literature (in these fields) but will also serve to shape a better future for artists everywhere.

Affiliated regional chapters of the ACEI

Association for Cultural Economics Poland

The Japanese Association for Cultural Economics

The Ibero American Network on Cultural Economics

Cultural Economics Related Networks and Research Clusters at Universities Across the Globe

Research in the Economics of the Arts, Culture and Heritage (REACH) at Macquarie University, Australia.

Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship Research Theme at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication at Erasmus University, the Netherlands

Cultural Research Network

Center for Cultural Affairs at Indiana University, United States of America

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