nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒02‒27
six papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University of the Piemonte Orientale

  1. Dialects, Cultural Identity, and Economic Exchange By Falck, Oliver; Heblich, Stephan; Lameli, Alfred; Suedekum, Jens
  2. Art Collections as a Strategy Tool: a Typology based on the Belgian Financial Sector By Morgane Lindenberg; Kim Oosterlinck
  3. Media and Polarization By Campante, Filipe R.; Hojman, Daniel
  4. The Euro Cash Changeover, Inflation Perceptions and the Media By Michael J. Lamla; Sarah M. Lein
  5. Cross-Cultural Analysiis of European e-Government Adoption By Aykut, Arslan
  6. Elephants and the Ivory Trade Ban: Summary of Research Results By G. Cornelis van Kooten

  1. By: Falck, Oliver (Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Heblich, Stephan (Max Planck Institute for Economics); Lameli, Alfred (University of Marburg); Suedekum, Jens (University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: We investigate whether time-persistent cultural borders impede economic exchange across regions of the same country. To measure cultural differences we evaluate, for the first time in economics, linguistic micro-data about phonological and grammatical features of German dialects. These data are taken from a unique linguistic survey conducted between 1879 and 1888 in 45,000 schools. Matching this information to 439 current German regions, we construct a dialect similarity matrix. Using a gravity analysis, we show that current cross-regional migration is positively affected by historical dialect similarity. This suggests that cultural identities formed in the past still influence economic exchange today.
    Keywords: gravity, internal migration, culture, language, dialects, Germany
    JEL: R23 Z10 J61
    Date: 2010–02
  2. By: Morgane Lindenberg (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.); Kim Oosterlinck (Centre Emile Bernheim, Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels.)
    Abstract: Reasons why organizations sponsor artistic and cultural events have attracted a lot of scholarly attention. However, understanding why organizations create and develop their own collections has remained largely under investigated. This is especially striking in the financial sector where companies are well-known for owning substantial art collections. This paper has been written in order to consider two distinct aspects: understanding why financial institutions in Belgium have begun to create their own art collections and how they developed them, and then suggesting a model which enables to categorize each actor according to their policies of acquisition and their managerial objective.
    Keywords: art collection, Belgian banks, communication management, patronage, typology
    JEL: Z11
    Date: 2010–02
  3. By: Campante, Filipe R. (Harvard University); Hojman, Daniel (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper provides a model of how media environments affect political polarization. We first develop a model of how media environments, characterized by their levels of accessibility and variety of content, interact with citizens' ideological views and attitudes and political motivation. We then embed it in a model of majoritarian electoral competition in which politicians react to those media-influenced views. We show how equilibrium polarization is affected by changes in the media environment, through two channels: the variety effect, whereby a decrease in media variety leads to convergence in citizens' views and hence to lower polarization; and the composition effect, whereby a lowering of barriers to media accessibility increases turnout and hence lowers polarization, since newly motivated voters are relatively more moderate. We take the model's predictions to the data, in the US context of the introduction of broadcast TV, in the 1940s and 1950s, and radio, in the 1920s and 1930s. We show that, consistent with the model's predictions, TV decreased polarization, and exposure to (network) radio was correlated with lower polarization. The evidence suggests that the variety effect was more important than the composition effect.
    JEL: D72 L82 O33
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: Michael J. Lamla (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Sarah M. Lein (Swiss National Bank, Zurich)
    Abstract: In the aftermath of the euro cash changeover consumers’ inflation perceptions rose substantially in the euro area countries while actual inflation figures remained almost unchanged. During that period media reporting on the potentially large inflationary effect of the euro introduction intensified. In this paper we argue that the information set of the public has been distorted through the significant slant in the media. Employing an unique dataset for Germany, we provide evidence that media reporting has a statistically significant and economically meaningful impact on inflation perceptions and contributed to their sharp rise in the aftermath of the euro cash changeover.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, inflation perceptions, media coverage, media bias
    JEL: E52 D83
    Date: 2010–02
  5. By: Aykut, Arslan
    Abstract: In terms of adoption, the topic of e-government has focused on the supply side (or government-related issues) such as strategies and policy, challenges, technical issues, evaluation of the usability of e-government Websites; however, less attention has been given to the demand (or citizen’s) perspective. Recent studies of the citizen adoption of e-government services suggest that trust, security, and transparency are the major issues for e-government adoption. The aim of this study was to explore whether cross-national differences in the adoption of e-government (Internet users who visited public authorities’ websites in last three months to obtain information, download, and file forms) are associated with differences among national cultures as described in Hofstede's model of cultural dimensions (Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance and Long-Term Orientation).
    Keywords: e-government; e-government adoption; European e-government; European Culture; Cross-cultural difference
    JEL: H1 H11 H7 R5
    Date: 2009
  6. By: G. Cornelis van Kooten
    Keywords: economics of elephant conservation, economics of ivory trade,trade bans
    JEL: Q57 Q27 O13
    Date: 2010–02

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