Swing for Your Supper: The Earnings of Jazz'ers and Other Musicians

January, 2005

This study 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 nonjazz 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.

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