nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒11‒10
three papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Online Peer-to-peer Communities: An Empirical Investigation of a Music Sharing Network as a Dynamic Two-sided Network By Bin Gu; Yun Huang; Wenjing Duan; Andrew B. Whinston
  2. Talent and/or Popularity - What Does it Take to Be a Superstar By Egon Franck; Stephan NŸesch
  3. The Value of Native Biodiversity Enhancement in New Zealand: A Case Study of the Greater Wellington Area By Pamela Kaval; Richard Yao; Terry Parminter

  1. By: Bin Gu (McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin); Yun Huang (McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Northwestern University); Wenjing Duan (George Washington University); Andrew B. Whinston (McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: Online peer-to-peer communities and online social networks have become increasingly popular. In particular, the recent boost of online peer-to-peer communities leads to exponential growth in sharing of user-contributed content which have brought profound changes to business and economic practices. Understanding the formation and sustainability of such peer-to-peer communities has important implications for businesses. We develop a dynamic two-sided network model that relates growth of communities to interactions between contribution and consumption of resources in online sharing activities. Using online music sharing data collected from a popular IRC music sharing service over five years, we empirically apply the model to identify dynamics in the music sharing community. We find that the music sharing community demonstrates distinctive characteristics of a two-sided network. Contribution in the community leads to more consumption and consumption leads to more contribution, creating positive network effects in the community. Moreover, we find significant negative externalities among consumption activities and among contribution activities. The combination of the positive and negative externalities drives the underlying dynamics and growth of online sharing communities. Using the dynamic model, we quantify equilibrium growth rate of the community. We find that the equilibrium growth rate changes over time, possibly as a result of legal actions taken by the music industry. Our study provides a first glimpse into the mechanism through which peer-to-peer communities sustain and thrive in a constantly changing environment.
    Keywords: online communities, two-sided networks, IRC channel, peer-to-peer network, evolutionary games, digital piracy
    JEL: L14 C73 O34
    Date: 2007–10
  2. By: Egon Franck; Stephan NŸesch (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich; Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Based on the competing Ð however not mutually exclusive Ð theories of superstar formation proposed by Rosen (1981) and Adler (1985), it is controversial if talent alone or other factors like popularity also influence stardom. One of the main obstacles to testing the superstar theories is the inherent difficulty of measuring talent. This article investigates superstar emergence in professional sports for which relative tournaments help to identify talent. Running quantile regressions we find evidence that both talent and popularity significantly contribute to the starsÕ market values.
    Keywords: superstars, soccer, talent, popularity
    JEL: J31 J44 L83
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Pamela Kaval (University of Waikato); Richard Yao; Terry Parminter
    Abstract: New Zealand’s biodiversity consists of over 80,000 native plants, animals and fungi, many of which are indigenous and located on private property. To enhance native biodiversity and discourage activities that may deplete it, policies can be introduced that can encourage individual self-interest to coincide with social interest. Economic values for biodiversity can help to determine the best policy tools to use. In this project, we surveyed Greater Wellington Region households to determine their biodiversity enhancement values using the contingent valuation approach. Greater Wellington respondents placed a significant value on both private land biodiversity as well as public land biodiversity.
    Keywords: biodiversity; non-market valuation; native species; private landholders; New Zealand
    JEL: Q56 Q57 Q51
    Date: 2007–11–06

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