nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒07‒03
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Heritage Kinaesthetics: Local Constructivism of UNESCO’s Intangible-Tangible Politics at a Favela Museum By Nadezhda Dimitrova Savova
  2. Religious pluralism and organizational diversity: An empirical test for the city of Zwolle, the Netherlands, 1851-1914 By Boone Ch.; Brouwer A.; Jacobs J.; Van Witteloostuijn A.
  3. Foreign Languages and Trade By Jan Fidrmuc; Jarko Fidrmuc
  4. Language Selection Policies in International Standardization – Perception of the IEC Member Countries By Teichmann, H.; Vries, H.J. de

  1. By: Nadezhda Dimitrova Savova (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Writing practiced as walking and walking as writing, I explore the spatial phenomenology of urban revitalization, “heritage,” and “cultural tourism” through the ways in which a Brazilian community imagines its history and constructs its presence in practices of local constructivism of a heritage site. The site is Providencia, Rio de Janeiro’s oldest favela (shantytown) and the “Open-Air/ Living Museum” that the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro established in the neighborhood, by building an open-air tourist trail. How in the practice of heritage-making do the “locals” imagine the “local” cultural heritage? Do they affirm or modify the institutional (municipality, state, and UNESCO) conceptualizations of tangible and intangible heritage? And how does tourism connect to the conjuring of community cultural revival and economic improvements? I develop the concept of heritage kinaesthetics as the moving bodily practices that set the built environment – to be revitalized - alive and are a counterpart of heritage aesthetics, or the immobile quality usually ascribed to a historic site. The five main heritage kinaesthetics approaches that residents and visitors of Providencia’s Museum apply to mix tangible and intangible heritage for development include: visual (photographing; seeing), ambulatory (walking around as exploration), performative (enacting intangible cultural heritage such as samba, capoeira, football, and music; tour guides’ performances), oral (telling stories/imagining history), and acoustic (creating and listening to place-specific sounds). The kinetic energy of heritage aesthetics is finally placed within the larger context of Brazilian cultural policy around the museum as a cultural center.
    Keywords: tangible and intangible cultural heritage, cultural policy, tourism, museum, space and place, social development
    Date: 2009–05
  2. By: Boone Ch.; Brouwer A.; Jacobs J.; Van Witteloostuijn A.
    Abstract: We explore the effect of population heterogeneity on organizational diversity. We do so in the context of a city community. Our argument is that organizational diversity will be positively affected by heterogeneity within the city’s population. We focus on a key aspect of population heterogeneity: religious pluralism. We test our logic with time series data for the Dutch city of Zwolle in the 1851-1914 period and find clear evidence for our key logic.
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Jan Fidrmuc; Jarko Fidrmuc
    Abstract: Cultural factors and especially common languages are well-known determinants of trade. By contrast, the knowledge of foreign languages was not explored in the literature so far. We combine traditional gravity models with data on fluency in the main languages used in EU and candidate countries. We show that widespread knowledge of languages is an important determinant of foreign trade, with English playing an especially important role. Other langauges (French, German, and Russian) play an important role mainly in particular regions. Furthermore, we argue that the effect of foreign langauges on trade may be non-linear. The robustness of our results is confirmed by quantile regressions.
    Date: 2009–03
  4. By: Teichmann, H.; Vries, H.J. de (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: International standards setting organizations have different language selection policies. These policies have, besides their financial aspects, also an important cultural/ political dimension. The standards setting organizations are either bilingual (English/ French), or unilingual (English), or multilingual (English, French and further languages). We have investigated the references of the 65 national members of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The main findings are a moderate preference for the use of both English and French for the technical work, and a strong preference for the use of English only for communication.. The obvious dominance of the English language is seen as a necessity, rather than an indication of a hypothetical Anglo-American linguistic/ cultural imperialism. Finally, some conclusions regarding language selection policies in international standards setting organizations are presented.
    Keywords: language selection policies;international standardization;bilingualism;unilingualism;multilingualism;IEC
    Date: 2009–06–02

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