nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2011‒01‒23
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Tribal Art Market Signs and Signals: Conspicuous Consumption and Market Segmentation By Guido Candela; Massimiliano Castellani; Pierpaolo Pattitoni
  2. Cultural Diversity and Economic Growth: Evidence from the US during the Age of Mass Migration By Philipp Ager; Markus Brückner
  3. Culture and diversity in knowledge creation By Berliant, Marcus; Fujita, Masahisa
  4. The Dark Side of Creativity: Original Thinkers Can be More Dishonest By Francesca Gino; Dan Ariely

  1. By: Guido Candela (Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA), Italy); Massimiliano Castellani (Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis (RCEA), Italy); Pierpaolo Pattitoni (Faculty of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy)
    Abstract: Does a form of socially relevant conspicuous consumption segment the Tribal Art market? In this paper, we address this question presenting a model based on the signaling theory and we test this model empirically using a unique hand-collected dataset, which comprises the worldwide Tribal Art market auctions between 1999 and 2008. Our results show a significant relationship among the probability of an artwork to be sold and several signs and signals. The effect of prices on the probability of sales is nonlinear, and allows us to segment the Tribal art market in a price-driven and a conspicuous consumption-driven market.
    Keywords: Tribal art, Conspicuous Consumption, Signs, Signals
    JEL: Z11 C25
    Date: 2011–01
  2. By: Philipp Ager (Universitat Pompeu Fabra); Markus Brückner (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)
    Abstract: We exploit the large inflow of immigrants to the US during the 1870-1920 period to examine the effects that changes in the cultural composition of the population of US counties had on output growth. We construct measures of fractionalization and polarization to distinguish between the different effects of cultural diversity. Our main finding is that increases in cultural fractionalization significantly increased output, while increases in cultural polarization significantly decreased output. We address the issue of identifying the causal effect of cultural diversity on output growth using the supply-push component of immigrant inflows as an instrumental variable.
    Keywords: cultural diversity, economic growth, historical development, immigration
    JEL: O1 Z1
    Date: 2011–01
  3. By: Berliant, Marcus; Fujita, Masahisa
    Abstract: Is the paradise of effortless communication the ideal environment for knowledge creation? Or, can the development of local culture in regions raise knowledge productivity compared to a single region with a unitary culture? In other words, can a real technological increase in the cost of collaboration and the cost of public knowledge flow between regions, resulting in cultural differentiation between regions, increase welfare? In our framework, a culture is a set of ideas held exclusively by residents of a location. In general in our model, the equilibrium path generates separate cultures in different regions. When we compare this to the situation where all workers are resident in one region, R & D workers become too homogeneous and there is only one culture. As a result, equilibrium productivity in the creation of new knowledge is lower relative to the situation when there are multiple cultures and workers are more diverse.
    Keywords: knowledge creation; knowledge diversity; ideas and culture
    JEL: Z1 D83 O31
    Date: 2011–01–09
  4. By: Francesca Gino (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit); Dan Ariely (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University)
    Abstract: Creativity is a common aspiration for individuals, organizations, and societies. Here, however, we test whether creativity increases dishonesty. We propose that a creative personality and creativity primes promote individuals' motivation to think outside the box and that this increased motivation leads to unethical behavior. In four studies, we show that participants with creative personalities who scored high on a test measuring divergent thinking tended to cheat more (Study 1); that dispositional creativity is a better predictor of unethical behavior than intelligence (Study 2); and that participants who were primed to think creatively were more likely to behave dishonestly because of their creativity motivation (Study 3) and greater ability to justify their dishonest behavior (Study 4). Finally, a field study constructively replicates these effects and demonstrates that individuals who work in more creative positions are also more morally flexible (Study 5). The results provide evidence for an association between creativity and dishonesty, thus highlighting a dark side of creativity.
    Keywords: creativity, creative thinking, dishonesty, intelligence, unethical behavior
    Date: 2011–01

This nep-cul issue is ©2011 by Roberto Zanola. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.