nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2012‒04‒10
three papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Auction Prices of Classical Music Manuscripts – A Hedonic Approach By Patrick Georges; Aylin Seçkin
  2. Collusion and the Political Differentiation of Newspapers By Filistrucchi, L.; Antonielli, M.
  3. Political Accountability, Electoral Control, and Media Bias By Takanori Adachi; Yoichi Hizen

  1. By: Patrick Georges (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON); Aylin Seçkin (Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey)
    Abstract: The literature on art auctions has overlooked the market for classical music manuscripts and this paper explores, for the first time, the determinants of “hammer” prices for about 360 classical music manuscripts auctioned at Sotheby’s (London) during the 1998-2009 period. We use hedonic price regressions in order to explain the price of classical music manuscripts by several characteristics. The paper shows that the “trace” of the composer (e.g., whether the manuscript is fully or partly in the hand of the composer or in a scribal hand), the artistic value of the composition, the number of pages, the period (Baroque, Classical, etc.), and of course the name of the composer and the relative scarcity of his manuscripts, are all characteristics that contribute to explain the hammer price of these manuscripts. However, parameter estimates for characteristics such as the type of music (Symphony, Opera, etc.) and whether the manuscript is the complete work or some fragment (say, one movement) are not statistically significant. The paper also estimates a hedonic price index that provides a measure of the average returns and (high) risk of collecting and investing in music manuscripts.
    Keywords: Art Auctions; Classical Music Manuscripts; Hedonic Price Regression; Economics of Classical Music.
    JEL: Z11 D44 C20
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Filistrucchi, L.; Antonielli, M. (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Abstract: We analyse a newspaper market where two editors first choose the political position of their newspaper, then set cover prices and advertising tariffs. We build on the work of Gabszewicz, Laussel and Sonnac (2001, 2002), whose model of competition among newspaper publishers we take as the stage game of an infinitely repeated game, and investigate the incentives to collude and the properties of the collusive agreements in terms of welfare and pluralism. We analyse and compare two forms of collusion: in the first, publishers cooperatively select both prices and political position; in the second, publishers cooperatively select prices only. We show that collusion on prices reinforces the tendency towards a Pensée Unique discussed in Gabszewicz, Laussel and Sonnac (2001), while collusion on both prices and the political line would tend to mitigate it. Our findings question the rationale for Joint Operating Agreements among US newspapers, which allow publishers to cooperate in setting cover prices and advertising tariffs but not the editorial line. We also show that, whatever the form of collusion, incentives to collude first increase, then decrease as advertising revenues per reader increase.
    Keywords: collusion;newspapers;two-sided markets;indirect network effects;pluralism;spatial competition.
    JEL: L41 L82 D43 K21
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Takanori Adachi (School of Economics, Nagoya University); Yoichi Hizen (Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration, Hokkaido Univeristy)
    Abstract: Are anti-establishment mass media really useful in preventing politicians from behaving dishonestly? This paper proposes a voting model for analyzing how differences in the direction of media bias affect politicians' behavior. In particular, the probability of corruption by an incumbent is higher (than that in the case of no media bias) if and only if the mass media have some degree of "anti-incumbent" bias (i.e., information favorable to the incumbent is converted into unfavorable news about him or her with a positive probability), provided that the incumbent is less likely to be opportunistic than a challenger. This result holds irrespective of the degree of "pro-incumbent" bias (i.e., information unfavorable to the incumbent is converted into impressive news about him or her with a positive probability). We also show that media bias never increases voter welfare. Our results thus suggest that society should make an effort to eliminate media bias per se rather than promote antagonistic media.
    Keywords: Political Accountability, Retrospective Voting, Media Bias, Voter Welfare
    JEL: D72 H11
    Date: 2012–03

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