nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒09‒26
six papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Copying, Superstars, and Artistic Creation By Francisco Alcalá; Miguel González-Maestre
  2. Diderot's rule By Beck, Jonathan
  3. Newspapers and Parties: How Advertising Revenues Created an Independent Press By Maria Petrova
  4. Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations By Inglehart, Ronald; Norris, Pippa
  5. The Role of Television in Household Debt: Evidence from the 1950's By Matthew J. Baker; Lisa M. George
  6. Environmental value transfer and species conservation By Sonia Akter; R. Quentin Grafton

  1. By: Francisco Alcalá (Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo); Miguel González-Maestre (Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico, Universidad de Murcia, Campus de Espinardo)
    Abstract: We provide a new perspective on the impact of unauthorized copying and copy levies on artistic creation. Our analysis emphasizes three important aspects of artistic markets: the predominance of superstars, the dynamics of talent sorting, and the importance of promotion expenditures. In the short run, piracy reduces superstars’ earnings and market share, and increases the number of niche and young artists. From a dynamic perspective, piracy may help more young artists start their careers, thereby increasing the number of highly talented artists in the long run. The long run impact on artistic creation of levies on copy equipment may crucially depend on whether their yields primarily accrue to superstars or are allocated to help young artists.
    Keywords: artistic creation, superstars, private copy, piracy, levies
    JEL: L10 L82
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Beck, Jonathan
    Abstract: The odds of success in creative industries like the book, music or movie industry are often said to be particularly low. A 1763 rule by Denis Diderot, for example, says that only one out of ten published books is a commercial success. Yet, representative evidence on new-product success rates and their development over time is scarce. Furthermore, the standard approach to use sales as success measure can be misleading from the producer's perspective. This paper presents a novel approach to empirically identify producer success by incorporating the standard terms of contract between creator and producer into a parsimonious model of information diffusion (word-of-mouth). The model is applied to a random sample of novels. Parametric and semiparametric estimates imply a success rate between 10 and 15\% for this market. Set against Diderot's rule, these results suggest that new-product success in the book industry has been fairly constant over time.
    Keywords: New-product success; word-of-mouth; creative industries; technological change
    JEL: L82 D83 O33
    Date: 2009–09–19
  3. By: Maria Petrova (New Economic School)
    Abstract: Does economic development promote media freedom? Do higher advertising revenues tend to make media outlets independent of political groups?in?uence? Using data on the 19th century American newspapers, I show that in places with higher advertising revenues, newspapers were more likely to be independent from political parties. Similar results hold when local advertising rates are instrumented by regulations on outdoor advertising and newspaper distribution. I also show that newly created newspapers were more likely to enter the market as independents in markets with higher advertising rates.
    Date: 2009–08
  4. By: Inglehart, Ronald (University of Michigan); Norris, Pippa (Harvard University)
    Abstract: To what extent do migrants carry their culture with them, and to what extent do they acquire the culture of their new home? The answer not only has important political implications; it also helps us understand the extent to which basic cultural values are enduring or malleable; and whether cultural values are traits of individuals or are attributes of a given society. Part I considers theories about the impact of growing social diversity in Western nations. We classify two categories of society: ORIGINS (defined as Islamic Countries of Origin for Muslim migrants, including twenty nations with plurality Muslim populations) and DESTINATIONS (defined as Western Countries of Destination for Muslim migrants, including twenty?two OECD member states with Protestant or Roman Catholic majority populations). Using this framework, we demonstrate that on average, the basic social values of Muslim migrants fall roughly mid?way between those prevailing in their country of origin and their country of destination. We conclude that Muslim migrants do not move to Western countries with rigidly fixed attitudes; instead, they gradually absorb much of the host culture, as assimilation theories suggest.
    Date: 2009–03
  5. By: Matthew J. Baker (Hunter College); Lisa M. George (Hunter College)
    Abstract: We examine whether advertising increases household debt by studying the initial expansion of television in the 1950’s. Exploiting the idiosyncratic spread of television across markets, we use microdata from the Survey of Consumer Finances to test whether households with early access to television saw steeper debt increases than households with delayed access. Results indicate that television increases the tendency to borrow for household goods and to carry debt. Television is associated with higher debt levels for durable goods, but not with total non-mortgage debt. The role of media in household debt may be greater than suggested by existing research.
    Keywords: Television, Debt, Advertising, Life Cycle
    JEL: D14 D43 D91
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Sonia Akter (Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Australian National University, Australia); R. Quentin Grafton (Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Australian National University, Australia)
    Abstract: Decision tools for species conservation, such as benefit cost analysis (BCA) and project prioritization protocol (PPP) use monetary values to measure benefits or to assign priorities across species. Non-use (or passive) values are an important, yet difficult to quantify, category of benefits. When not estimated they may be assigned a zero value by decision makers. This results in the under-provision of conservation dollars to substantial non-use values generating projects and actions. To overcome the problem, we provide a guide to environmental value transfer (EVT) that allows decision makers to derive indirect estimates of non-use values. Environmental value transfer, together with consideration of estimated benefits uncertainty, promise better decision making and improved species conservation outcomes. Key words: environmental value transfer, species conservation, non-use values
    Date: 2009–05

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