nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒10‒09
three papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Flâneur or fast food culture? Issues on typologies of cultural tourist By Elina De Simone
  2. Culture, Institutions and the Wealth of Nations By Gorodnichenko, Yuriy; Roland, Gerald
  3. Technology Shocks in Multi-Sided Markets: The Impact of Craigslist on Local Newspapers By Robert Seamans; Feng Zhu

  1. By: Elina De Simone (-)
    Abstract: In cultural tourism two trade-offs are present: a traditional one describing preservation and valorisation effects and a second one about the different levels of quality that can be experienced during a visit. The latter emerged recently over a renewed popularity of the "lone traveller", the flâneur, who searches for the Aura (Benjamin, 1936) away from crowded museums where globalization of tastes may turn them in a sort of "fast food" places. The aim of this work is to describe possible types of visitors and their related economic effects (mostly the crowding out). The various dimensions to the value of heritage in contemporary societies (community values versus the rule of fashion, Musgrave, 1956) will also be discussed. The conclusions drawn here will suggest that the trade offs arising among different types of visitors, make more complex the management of cultural sites, as well as much more problematic the current debate on the relationship between democracy and opportunities for cultural experiences.
    Keywords: cultural tourism, cultural consumption, merit good.
    JEL: Z1 D1 H4 L83
    Date: 2010–09–29
  2. By: Gorodnichenko, Yuriy (University of California, Berkeley); Roland, Gerald (University of California, Berkeley)
    Abstract: We construct an endogenous growth model that includes a cultural variable along the dimension of individualism-collectivism. The model predicts that more individualism leads to more innovation because of the social rewards associated with innovation in an individualist culture. This cultural effect may offset the negative effects of bad institutions on growth. Collectivism leads to efficiency gains relative to individualism, but these gains are static, unlike the dynamic effect of individualism on growth through innovation. Using genetic data as instruments for culture we provide strong evidence of a causal effect of individualism on income per worker and total factor productivity as well as on innovation. The baseline genetic markers we use are interpreted as proxies for cultural transmission but others have a direct effect on individualism and collectivism, in line with recent advances in biology and neuro-science. The effect of culture on long-run growth remains very robust even after controlling for the effect of institutions and other factors. We also provide evidence of a two-way causal effect between culture and institutions.
    Keywords: culture, institutions, development, growth
    JEL: O1 O3 O4 O5
    Date: 2010–09
  3. By: Robert Seamans (NYU Stern School of Business); Feng Zhu (USC-Marshall School of Business)
    Abstract: Theories of multi-sided markets suggest that a platform’s pricing strategies on different sides of the market are closely linked, and in particular, an increase in competition on one side may lead to an increase in price on other sides. We empirically examine platforms’ pricing strategies by exploiting the gradual expansion of Craigslist, a website providing classified ads services, into local newspaper markets. We adopt a differences-in-differences approach by comparing the pricing strategies of local newspapers for which classified ads are likely to be a significant portion of their revenue to others before and after Craigslist’s entry. We find that these newspapers drop their classified ad rates significantly more after Craigslist’s entry. We also find that the impact of the entry of Craigslist propagates to other sides of the newspaper market. These newspapers increase their subscription rates relative to others, and consequently, their circulation also drops more. Finally, lower circulation also leads to lower display ad rates for these newspapers. Our study helps build an understanding of how incumbent media platforms respond to technologically disruptive entrants in multi-sided markets.
    Keywords: two-sided markets, media markets, newspapers, platforms.
    JEL: D43 K21 L13 L22 L82 L86
    Date: 2010–09

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