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Seminar Series: What is ‘Psychic Income?’ 

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An exploration of ‘Psychic Income’ in creative occupations and the relevance of this to the labour market.

Nonpecuniary benefits are the intangible rewards that workers receive, such as intrinsic satisfaction from work, that are hard to measure, but can play a vital role in the labour market. The artistic workforce and creative occupations are often associated with characteristics of job satisfaction, flexibility, and creative freedom, directly implicated in these nonpecuniary benefits or “psychic income” from labour.

Yet, labour supply models tend to not feature these non-monetary benefits of creative work. Further, empirical measures of job satisfaction, or “psychic income” for artists are hard to find. In this study, we use panel data on artists switching in and out of artistic occupations to estimate psychic income. For comparison, we apply the same method to other sorts of workers such as academics, drivers, and accountants. We also discuss the implications of these results for several current debates in the creative sector, for example gig work, non-wage compensation, and basic income.

Doug Noonan is a professor at O’Neill School at Indiana University Indianapolis.


About Creative PEC’s Seminar Series

Creative PEC’s new Seminar Series presents cutting-edge research from across the world, bridging conversations across academia, policy and creative practice. The series aims to spark discussion on emerging research and implications for creative industries policy.

Who the seminars are for:
– Creative industries researchers
– Policymakers (local, regional + national)
– Anyone keen to find out more about emerging creative economy research

Each seminar will be held online, and begins with a deep-dive on new research followed by a Q&A. Make space for an hour each month to keep up to date with the latest ideas in creative economy research.

For any questions about the Seminar Series, please get in touch with us at

Online Zoom Webinar

Thursday 29 February 2024, 3.00pm (GMT)

Sign up here

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