nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒10‒14
six papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Universita degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The Diversity of Diversity: further methodological considerations on the use of the concept in cultural economics By Renato Galvão Flôres Junior
  2. Valuing New Goods in a Model with Complementarities: Online Newspapers By Matthew Gentzkow
  3. The Sales Effect of Word of Mouth: A Model for Creative Goods and Estimates for Novels By Jonathan Beck
  4. Do Television and Radio Destroy Social Capital? Evidence from Indonesian Villages By Benjamin A. Olken
  5. Copyright Duration and the Supply of Creative Work By Ivan Png; Qiu-hong Wang
  6. Clash of Cultures : Muslims and Christians in the Ethnosizing Process By Amelie Constant; Liliya Gataullina; Klaus F. Zimmermann; Laura Zimmermann

  1. By: Renato Galvão Flôres Junior (EPGE/FGV)
    Date: 2006–10
  2. By: Matthew Gentzkow
    Abstract: Many important economic questions hinge on the extent to which new goods either crowd out or complement consumption of existing products. Recent methods for studying new goods are based on demand models that rule out complementarity by assumption, so their applicability to these questions has been limited. I develop a new model that relaxes this restriction, and use it to study the specific case of competition between print and online newspapers. Using new micro data from the Washington DC market, I show that the major print and online papers appear to be strong complements in the raw data, but that this is an artifact of unobserved consumer heterogeneity. I estimate that the online paper reduced print readership by 27,000 per day, at a cost of $5.5 million per year in lost print profits. I find that online news has provided substantial welfare benefits to consumers and that charging positive online prices is unlikely to substantially increase firm profits.
    JEL: C25 L82
    Date: 2006–10
  3. By: Jonathan Beck
    Abstract: Weekly sales of creative goods - like music records, movies or books - usually peak shortly after release and then decline quickly. In many cases, however, they follow a hump-shaped pattern where sales increase for some time. A popular explanation for this phenomenon is word of mouth among a population of heterogeneous buyers, but previous studies typically assume buyer homogeneity or neglect word of mouth altogether. In this paper, I study a model of new-product diffusion with heterogeneous buyers that allows for a quantification of the sales effect of word of mouth. The model includes Christmas sales as a special case. All parameters have an intuitive interpretation. Simulation results suggest that the parameters are estimable for data that are not too volatile and that cover a sufficiently large part of a title’s life cycle. I estimate the model for four exemplary novels using scanner data on weekly sales. <br> <br> <i>ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Die Verkaufswirkung von Mundpropaganda: ein Modell für kreative Produkte und Schätzwerte für Romane) <br> Meistens erreichen die wöchentlichen Verkäufe von kreativen Produkten wie Musikalben, Kinofilmen oder Büchern kurz nach Veröffentlichung ihren Höhepunkt und nehmen dann schnell ab. In einigen Fällen jedoch zeigen sie einen buckelartigen Verlauf mit zunächst ansteigenden Verkäufen. Eine populäre Erklärung für dieses Phänomen beruht auf der Existenz von Mundpropaganda unter heterogenen Käufern, doch bisherige Studien gehen typischerweise von der Annahme homogener Käufer aus oder vernachlässigen Mundpropaganda gänzlich. Dieses Papier betrachtet ein Modell der Verbreitung neuer Produkte unter heterogenen Käufern, welches eine Quantifizierung der Verkaufswirkung von Mundpropaganda ermöglicht. Das Modell beinhaltet Weihnachtsverkäufe als Spezialfall. Alle Modellparameter haben eine intuitive Bedeutung. Ergebnisse einer Simulation zeigen, dass die Parameter empirisch geschätzt werden können, wenn die Daten einen hinreichend großen Teil des Verkaufszyklus eines Titels abdecken und nicht zu volatil sind. Das Modell wird auf Scannerdaten für vier exemplarische Romane angewendet.</i>
    Keywords: new-product diffusion; word of mouth; creative industries
    JEL: C22 L82 M3
    Date: 2006–09
  4. By: Benjamin A. Olken
    Abstract: In "Bowling Alone," Putnam (1995) famously argued that the rise of television may be responsible for social capital's decline. I investigate this hypothesis in the context of Indonesian villages. To identify the impact of exposure to television (and radio), I exploit plausibly exogenous differences in over-the-air signal strength associated with the topography of East and Central Java. Using this approach, I find that better signal reception, which is associated with more time spent watching television and listening to radio, is associated with substantially lower levels of participation in social activities and with lower self-reported measures of trust. I find particularly strong effects on participation in local government activities, as well as on participation in informal savings groups. However, despite the impact on social capital, improved reception does not appear to affect village governance, at least as measured by discussions in village-level meetings and by corruption in a village-level road project.
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2006–10
  5. By: Ivan Png; Qiu-hong Wang
    Date: 2006–10–08
  6. By: Amelie Constant; Liliya Gataullina; Klaus F. Zimmermann; Laura Zimmermann
    Abstract: The paper explores the evolution of ethnic identities of two important and distinct immigrant religious groups. Using data from Germany, a large European country with many immigrants, we study the adaptation processes of Muslims and Christians. Individual data on language, culture, societal interactions, history of migration and ethnic self-identification are used to compose linear measures of the process of cultural adaptation. Two-dimensional variants measure integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization. Christians adapt more easily to the German society than Muslims. Immigrants with schooling in the home country and with older age at entry as well as female Muslims remain stronger attached to the country of origin. Female Muslims integrate and assimilate less and separate more than Muslim men, while there is no difference between male and female Christians. Christians who were young at entry are best integrated or assimilated, exhibiting lower separation and marginalization in the later years, while for Muslims a similar pattern is observed only for assimilation and separation. Christian immigrants with college or higher education in the home country integrate well, but Muslims do not. For both religious groups, school education in the home country leads to slower assimilation and causes more separation than no education at home. While school education has no impact on integration efforts for Muslim, it affects similar attempts of Christians negatively.
    Keywords: Ethnicity, ethnic identity, religion, migrant assimilation, migrant integration, ethnic exclusion
    JEL: F22 J15 J16 Z10 Z12
    Date: 2006

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