January 14, 2005 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Woodlawn Room, Harris School of Public Policy Studies
Thomas Smith, Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics and the Assistant Director for the Center of Economic Education, University of Illinois at Chicago
View the paper: "Swing for Your Supper: The Earnings of Jazz'ers and Other Musicians"
In this study, Smith uses two new datasets to examine the earnings of musicians, specifically jazz musicians, the Study of Jazz Artists 2001: American Federation of Musician Survey and the Study of Jazz Artists 2001: Respondent Driven Survey. This study tests the human capital earnings function (HCEF) on the earnings of musicians from both jazz and non-jazz performances. The results suggest that human capital investments play significant, but different roles, in the earnings from jazz music and non-jazz music. Years of schooling and years of playing music are positively correlated with the earnings from non-jazz musical styles. With respect to earnings from jazz music, however, years of schooling has a negative impact while the point estimates for years of music experience nearly double.
ABOUT THOMAS SMITH: Thomas Smith is Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics and the Assistant Director for the Center of Economic Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago (1998). His research has been focused in several areas, including the occupational mobility of immigrants, the economics of nonprofit arts organizations, and the economics of philanthropy. He has received several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for research projects on nonprofit industry—specifically nonprofit dance companies and nonprofit theater companies. When not researching the economics of performing arts, Smith plays electric and upright bass with various jazz and pop groups in and around Chicago. He has performed with award-winning cabaret singer Mary Monica Thomas and recorded bass with platinum-selling rap group Naughty by Nature.