nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒12‒01
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Universita degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Untalented but Successful By Olivier Gergaud; Vincenzo Verardi
  2. Piracy repression and “Proustian” effects in popular music markets By BECCHETTI LEONARDO; ELEUTERI SIMONE
  3. Success: An Exploration By gupta parvinder
  4. The Relative Importance of the European Languages By Chr. Hjorth-Andersen

  1. By: Olivier Gergaud (OMI - [Université de Reims - Champagne Ardenne], CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - [CNRS : UMR8174] - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I]); Vincenzo Verardi (European Centre for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) - [Université Libre de Bruxelles])
    Abstract: When studying the problem of the emergence of superstars, scholars face great difficulties in measuring talent, obtaining confidential data on earnings, and finding econometric techniques that lead to results that are robust to the presence of outliers (superstars). In this paper we use an original dataset from the Pokemon trading card game in which (i) there is no unidentifiable heterogeneity and (ii) all characteristics of individuals are public domain. To prevent the results to be distored by the presence of outliers, we estimate the «fair» price of each individual, using the robust «Least Trimmed of Squares» regression technique in a hedonic prices framework, and check the effective price at which they are sold. This allows to identify superstars, i.e. individuals that are sold at a price which represents several times their intrinsec value. We find that the two main theories of superstars developed by Rosen (1981), who awards a central importance to talent, and by Adler (1985), who awards more importance to the need of consumers to share a common culture are complementary and not mutually exclusive as is often claimed.
    Keywords: Superstars, robust estimation, hedonic prices, leisure games.
    Date: 2006–11–08
    Abstract: We extend the Gayer-Shy (2005) approach and outline a theoretical model with typical characteristics of contemporary music markets in which record sales and life performances are two fundamental components of industry profits and illegal recording has positive effects on the second source of revenues. We show how (cross-sectional) network externalities and (intertemporal) “Proustian” effects (emotional quasi rents of adult consumers generated by “musical imprinting” when they were young) enhance the conflict of interest on piracy repression between artists and record publishers. Endogenisation of the bargained property right shares and of the penalty for piracy shows that, under reasonable parametric conditions, the absence of piracy repression maximizes total industry profits. We finally show that the conflict of interest on piracy may be solved via diversification of the record publisher revenues through his participation to live performance profits, or entry into the market of new products, such as hardware music players, which are complement to (legal and illegal) downloading.
    Date: 2006–10
  3. By: gupta parvinder
    Abstract: Success, in a worldly sense or by societal yardstick, is mostly evaluated in terms of money, status, recognition, fame, promotions, awards, rewards, and similar criteria. The purpose of this study was to explore the concept of success as viewed by people who were considered successful in their respective fields by societal yardstick or in a worldly sense. Further, the study aimed at exploring what led to their success. Six successful people from varied fields such as dance, architecture, sports, industry, academics, and medicine were included in the sample. They were interviewed to explore their concept of success, background, struggles, and factors that led to their success. The findings revealed that success was viewed differently by different people. Whatever their field, these successful people had a few things in common. The implications of the study were discussed.
    Date: 2006–11–27
  4. By: Chr. Hjorth-Andersen (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: The European Union has introduced a “two foreign languages policy” with little solid knowledge of the consequences. I attempt in this paper to provide some facts for a serious discussion of language policy. In the first part of the paper, I look at the European languages on a world scale, employing the relevant measure GNP rather than the population measure usually preferred by linguists and politicians. The results are quite dramatic as English can be shown to be completely dominant. In the second part of the paper, I look at the relative importance of the European languages in Europe. In order to put the discussion on a firm footing I propose two indices from the linguistic literature, the Greenberg index of communication in a union and the Lieberson index of successful communication between countries. These indices are computed for Europe (25) using Eurobarometer data. In the third part, I look at the likely future linguistic development of Europe, and take a sceptical look at the “two foreign languages policy” as the costs of implementing such a policy for many persons in Europe would seem likely to exceed the benefits.
    Keywords: language; English; German; French
    JEL: R1 Z0
    Date: 2006–11

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