nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒06‒17
ten papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Conceptual Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Art By David Galenson
  2. Value of the content and value of the channel: movie rerun on television By Marco GAMBARO
  3. Trends nelle media relations in Italia By Cinzia COLAPINTO
  4. Economics & aesthetics; how can art economists obtain the aesthetic knowledge they need for their economic purposes? By Aldo SPRANZI
  5. Human and cultural capital complementarities and externalities in economic growth By Alberto BUCCI; Giovanna SEGRE
  6. Creative Industries: Case Studies from Arab Countries By Harabi, Najib
  7. Demand for movies in Europe and the effects of multiplex diffusion: a panel approach By Orietta DESSY; Marco GAMBARO
  8. Is the Internet Bad News? The Online News Era and the Market for High-Quality News By Frijters, Paul; Velamuri, Malathi
  9. Media policy: an economic contribution By Marco GAMBARO
  10. L’inefficienza della filiera artistica dell’industria culturale: l’antimanzonismo silente By Aldo SPRANZI

  1. By: David Galenson
    Abstract: Art critics and scholars have acknowledged the breakdown of their explanations and narratives of contemporary art in the face of what they consider the incoherent era of "pluralism" or "postmodernism" that began in the late twentieth century. This failure is in fact a result of their inability to understand the nature of the development of advanced art throughout the entire twentieth century, and particularly the novel behavior of young conceptual innovators in a new market environment. The rise of a competitive market for advanced art in the late nineteenth century freed artists from the constraint of having to satisfy powerful patrons, and gave them unprecedented freedom to innovate. As the rewards for radical and conspicuous innovation increased, conceptual artists could respond to these incentives more quickly and decisively than their experimental counterparts. Early in the twentieth century, the young conceptual genius Pablo Picasso initiated two new practices, by alternating styles at will and inventing a new artistic genre, that became basic elements of the art of a series of later conceptual innovators. By the late twentieth century, extensions of these practices had led to the emergence of important individual artists whose work appeared to have no unified style, and to the balkanization of advanced art, as the dominance of painting gave way before novel uses of old genres and the creation of many new ones. Understanding not only contemporary art, but the art of the past century as a whole, will require art scholars to abandon their outmoded insistence on analyzing art in terms of style, and to recognize the many novel patterns of behavior that have been created over the course of the past century by young conceptual innovators.
    JEL: Z1 Z11
    Date: 2009–06
  2. By: Marco GAMBARO
    Abstract: Despite the role that movie reruns play in television programming, few studies have been devoted to this topic. In this paper I explore the performance determinants of reruns relying on data from Italian television industry, but several industry interviews suggested that the conclusions can be significant also for other countries at least in the European landscape. I use a database of 1123 film broadcast by major Italian tv channel more than one time from 1996 to 2005. Second reruns get on average a 60% of the first run audience, while the third rerun drop to 45%. I regress rerun tv audience outcome on several independent variables as the attendance in movie theatres, movie genre, country of production, results of previous run, temporal gap between runs, share of tv network on which the movie in broadcasting the transmission month.Results show a statistically significant negative relation with temporal gap of transmission and a positive relation with the audience of first run, the strength of the channel at the time of transmission and the promotional activity related with the first release in movie theatres.
    Keywords: Consumer economics, empirical analysis, industry studies, media, television
    JEL: D12 L82
    Date: 2009–02–05
  3. By: Cinzia COLAPINTO
    Abstract: After looking at the relationship between journalism and public relations (PR) we analyze the impact of Internet on this interplay. A content analysis was conducted in order to investigate the utilization of the Internet for communicating corporate information -especially media relations - by the top Italian companies in the Mediobanca ranking lists. Analyses revealed that only 66% of Web sites have a dedicated press rooms where media content is centralized. The study shows that web-based corporate reporting in Italy is still in its infancy: lack of advanced technology such as RSS and corporate web blogs. News releases are the most frequently available materials, .
    Keywords: Media relation, Internet, content analysis, corporate websites, Italy
    JEL: D89 M39
    Date: 2008–06–19
  4. By: Aldo SPRANZI
    Abstract: The insurmountable obstacle against which economists’ attempts to confront and solve the economic problems of art – public funding as the first among many – and that has forced them to retreat after the ignominious attempt to save face by promoting art as a ‘merit good’ is the total lack of any form of aesthetic knowledge whatsoever. No one knows what the nature of art is, hence what need it satisfies, and as a consequence, the nature and dynamics of the act of consumption are unknown, as is, more generally speaking, the social function of art. Thus, art economists are not able to confront a problem of industrial efficiency. The problem seems to be unsolvable: how can the economist acquire unlimited aesthetic knowledge – because this is what it is all about – and then: how can this knowledge be used in a professional, scientific way, and in complete autonomy? In this study, a solution to the problem is put forward. Constructed thanks to an innovation brought about by Chance, it enables the economist to acquire unlimited aesthetic, pedagogic and critical tools that he/she can use professionally – not as a dilettante – and in complete autonomy, so as to be able to confront and solve the economic problems of art, which are problems in marketing and industrial economics.
    Keywords: Art economics, culture economics, culture industry, art marketing, cultural policies
    JEL: Z11
    Date: 2009–02–28
  5. By: Alberto BUCCI; Giovanna SEGRE
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of culture, viewed according to Throsby’s definition of cultural capital (that is, an asset of tangible and intangible cultural expressions), in fostering economic growth. Recent literature in the field of cultural economics highlights a possible inversion of the usual causality relation, and culture can be seen as one of the engine of economic wealth. In this article we analyze one possible channel through which it may occur: human capital investment. Using a two-sectors endogenous growth model, the relation between cultural and human capital is deeply investigated.
    Keywords: Economic growth, culture, human capital, complementarities, externalities
    JEL: O40 O41 Z10 J24
    Date: 2009–02–07
  6. By: Harabi, Najib
    Abstract: The paper describes and explains empirically the economic performance of four key creative industries (the book publishing, music sound recording, film production and software industries) in five Arab countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon). Using the Porter (Diamond) model as its theoretical background, a survey was conducted in the years 2002-03 among 242 experts, covering firm representatives, industry and government experts. The results were incorporated into five national case studies. This paper synthesizes the results of those national reports, giving a comparative account of the performance of the four creative industries in these Arab countries. The overall results of the study suggest that creative industries in Arab countries are substantially underdeveloped, and there remains a great potential that should systematically be mobilized. A discussion of how this can be achieved is offered, based upon a well-designed and implemented process of upgrading and innovation in companies, industries and clusters related to creative activities. Public policy can play in this process an important role, as shown in the example of promoting Shanghai creative industries, where the Municipal Government has played a key role.
    Keywords: Knowledge-based industry; knowledge economy; creative industry; creative economy; cultural industry; copyright –based industry; Arab countries; Arab world; Morocco; Tunisia; Egypt; Jordan and Lebanon
    JEL: L82 Z11
    Date: 2009–05
  7. By: Orietta DESSY; Marco GAMBARO
    Abstract: After three decades of decreasing admissions, cinema attendance in Europe showed a significant rise during the nineties despite the competition of several audiovisual media. This growth in ticket sales must be compared with the declining share of exhibition in total film revenues. In this period exhibition started to be for movies the first window of a complex multi release strategy that includes home video, various form of pay television and finally free tv. Exhibition is still very important to signal the quality of a movie revealing through the tickets sold the consumer preferences, but its role in overall revenues of film industry has been declining from a share of 50% in 1980 to a share of 15-20% in 2000 at least for Hollywood productions. There are different explanations in literature for this growth ranging from a different approach in film production to a spillover effect due to the rising production costs, till the renovation work and improved condition in movie theatres. In this paper we try to test the role of multiplex. While usually multiplex is analysed in supply side since it can reduce the cost of exhibition through scale economies in several function, we focus on demand side. The positive role of multiplex is related to the risk reduction of the audience and the improved condition of new theatres. The possible negative role is related to the competition of big multiplex chains towards traditional theatres that can be moved out of market thus reducing eventually theatres density and overall supply. We explore the movie demand evolution in Europe with a data set of 15 countries from 1989 to 2003. We estimate with a panel approach a simple demand function of film exhibition with yearly tickets per inhabitant as dependent variable where as expected price coefficient is negative and income coefficient is positive. Multiplex diffusion, indicated as the percentage of multiplex seats over total seats, appears to be moderately positive and is 1% significant. The results are robust to different model specification. As we can see from Table 1, gdp pro-capita is significant with the expected positive sign showing an elasticity of 0.37, thus movies cannot be identified as a luxury good. Price is significant, with an elasticity of -0.26. The demand seem to be quite inelastic respect to price and the value is lower than what is found in some other studies conducted at a national level. Multiplex has a positive impact on the demand for cinema, with an elasticity of 0.07. The coefficient.Is rather small but the effect is net once considered the rise in total supply captured by the variable seatpop that has a strong positive value confirming that competition in exhibition work in geographical limited markets and that the availability of theatres influence positively the demand. The elasticity value of 0.5 suggest anyway that marginal capacity expansion display diminuishing returns.Contrary to the view of many theatre owners, multiplexes do not simply get market share from traditional theatres but contribute to an overall demand growth due probably to the service innovation they propose.We measured the effect of other demographic factor like the share of young people or the literacy level but we found them not significant and therefore we exclude them from the final equations.In future works we plan to include some measures of substitute consumption like television or DVD.
    Keywords: Consumer economics, industry studies, performing arts
    JEL: D12 L92
    Date: 2008–07–11
  8. By: Frijters, Paul; Velamuri, Malathi
    Abstract: We review and model the impact of the internet on the production and uptake of high- quality news. Our review of trends in the market for news suggests 3 stylized facts: i) particular quality news markets are dominated by merely a few providers, ii) demand for quality news appears stable, but provision of news has become specialized; mainstream news is decoupled from quality news, and iii) the dominant business model of internet news mirrors that of radio, television, and newspapers in that costs of news production are recouped via advertising. We build a stylized model that rationalizes these facts. Our model captures three conflicting effects: (1) economies of scale in the production of news lead to monopolies on particular markets, (2) easy access to information on the internet makes it cheaper to provide high-quality news and to disseminate it via the web, which increases the production of such news; and (3) the existence of bloggers and news aggregators who recycle the stories of news-providers reduces the effective property rights of high-quality news producers, thus forcing the business model of the internet to be advertising-based. For the most likely cases, our model would imply that the internet does not constitute bad news for the provision and uptake of quality news.
    Keywords: News quality; Internet; Monopolies; Search Costs; Advertising
    JEL: L82 L11 L15
    Date: 2009–05
  9. By: Marco GAMBARO
    Abstract: Media policies encompass a large array of activities and interventions carried out by governments and institutions to coordinate, promote, address and sometimes to control media industries. In Europe, different media are subject to different degrees and different kind of regulations. While record industry is practically neglected by public authorities, television is strongly considered both in market structure and in firm conduct, entry is strictly regulated and in many countries the set of choices in programming and advertising market are restricted. Book publishing and film production are both supported with specific financing and a lot of attention but the former is much less considered and regulated than the latter. Newspapers attract more policies and more financing than magazines and professional press operate at the edge of public attention. The availability of adequate information is one of the most important conditions for making markets and political systems work efficiently. The power of influencing, enhancing or concealing information on certain events may have relevant consequences for consumers and citizens. There are multidimensional relationships between the quality of information supplied by mass media, the competition in information and good markets, and the making of public policies. Media are undergoing constant change in many countries and the convergence with telecommunication made possible by digitalization has resulted in a number of new offer and significant transformations. While in the past different media were pretty separate industries with own value chains and distribution channels, the convergence process enable new product, new substitution pattern and a different kind of competition. For instance, the informative web site of newspapers, television and search engines appear much more similar than the original media. Regulation and policy follow the same pattern, and need to become more horizontal and media independent. The control of concentration level become a problem since the reference market can be different for each product and the simple cross ownership rules risk to be inadequate. Evolving media landscape pose new problems that national and European institution need to address in order to maintain and promote social and economic functions vital for societies.
    Keywords: Information quality, information variety, pluralism, competition, media industries, regulation
    JEL: L82 L52
    Date: 2008–07–21
  10. By: Aldo SPRANZI
    Abstract: This paper analyses the perverse effects that the inefficiency of the artistic chain of the cultural industry has on art consumption, which is due to the fact that the schools have been forced to accept an ‘official’ model of use that is hostile to the modus operandi of art – a relativistic, metatextual model imposed by official artistic culture.This cultural pathology is particularly clear if examined in reference to a masterpiece of Italian literature – Alessandro Manzoni’s The Betrothed – both because of the fact that the whole of official artistic culture is responsible for how it has been atrociously misunderstood, as well as for the fact that this wrong way of reading the masterpiece is required in all of the Italian schools. ‘Silent anti-Manzonism’ – a form of rejecting the novel – is the main perverse effect produced by this malfunctioning of the artistic chain. The argument put forward in this paper is supported by (a) the correct reading of the novel; (b) the significant testimony of a ‘rebellious’ intellectual of the twentieth century: Guido da Verona; (c) the results of an imposing investigative survey in 1993, in which 2600 Italian high school teachers participated.
    Keywords: Art economics, culture economics, culture industry, art marketing, Manzoni’s Betrothed
    JEL: Z11
    Date: 2008–05–21

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