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Letter to the editor

It might be time to rethink where growth will come from instead of justifying the status quo

In your most recent issue, James Goodwin opined on the future demographic trends that will affect the art market (“Who will follow baby boomers into the art market?”, The Art Newspaper, October 2011, p41).

Mr Goodwin’s piece provided a much needed longer-term perspective on the market, but the discussion gives the impression that the data was selected to fit a conclusion. While there can be no doubt that demographics affect the art market, particularly mid-value works, the consistent focus of arts economists and journalists on India and China is slightly wearying. The Middle East has demographics similar to India’s and, according to Transparency International (TI), less corruption on average.

The most fertile region of the world at the moment is sub-Saharan Africa; the fertility rate is nearly twice that of India. Over the next half a century, this region will experience the largest “demographic dividend” anywhere on earth. While some may question whether the countries south of the Sahel can institute the necessary political and economic governance to capitalise on their demographic windfall, TI ranks Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho and Ghana as more transparent than India.

The term “BRIC” [Brazil, Russia, India and China] is now a decade old—it might be time to rethink where growth will come from instead of justifying the status quo.

—Adam Levine, New York

Send your letters to the editor to: 70 South Lambeth Road London SW8 1RL UK or email: j.morris [at] theartnewspaper.com

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Comments

21 Dec 11
15:5 CET

CRAIG MATTOLI, GUANGZHOU

Then, my question to you would be: are you also using statistics to try to push your own agenda? What makes you think that these will be the fertile areas and for what? It takes more than people numbers to grow an art market. In particular it takes education, which, sadly, China lacks, for example. Don't know about India and their art appreciation education. However, I would question whether places like the middle east or African countries have the art education, or will have, that is really necessary to create a true art market, both in terms of production and consumption.

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