nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2012‒07‒01
two papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. “Better an egg today than a hen tomorrow?” On the implications of deaccess policies on donations to museums By Di Gaetano, Luigi; Mazza, Isidoro
  2. Do institutions and culture matter for business cycles? By Sumru Altug; Fabio Canova

  1. By: Di Gaetano, Luigi; Mazza, Isidoro
    Abstract: The recent global crisis has forced many countries to a tight fiscal discipline. As a consequence, the cultural sectors in those countries have experienced severe budget cuts. In this context, disparate suggestions for additional sources of revenue available to public institutions have emerged. In particular, deaccessioning seems able to guarantee the sustainability of public cultural institutions without serious negative impacts on the fruition of cultural goods. This paper addresses the consequences that a widespread deaccessioning would have on private bequests to public institutions. We develop a sequential game with incomplete information between a Museum and a Donor. There are two types of museums: one type is committed not to sale its collection; the second type has no restriction on selling a share of its art endowment. The Donor does not know the type of Museum. The non-committed Museum can sale items in the first stage and/or in the third stage. Donors contribute only in the second stage. Therefore, deaccessioning triggers a moral hazard problem. We derive a number or results concerning the allocation of gifts and the decision of deaccessioning and provide numerical simulations to interpret the parameters. Most notably, with respect to a benchmark case where deaccessioning is illegal, contributions are reduced when the non-committed Museum deaccesses in the first stage (separating strategy). If, however, that Museum does not deaccess at the beginning (pooling strategy), also the committed Museum receives less than in the benchmark case. Interestingly, an increase of public grants to Museums (of any type) allows the non-committed Museum to adopt a pooling strategy, causing a reduction of donations to the committed Museum. This result provides an intuition for the widespread resistance of museum directors to deaccessioning and for their efforts to enforce common and strict guidelines.
    Keywords: Deaccessioning; Museums financing policy; sequential game; moral hazard
    JEL: Z10 D82 Z11 C72
    Date: 2012–05–11
  2. By: Sumru Altug; Fabio Canova
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between institutions, culture and cyclical fluctuations for a sample of 45 European, Middle Eastern and North African countries. Better governance is associated with shorter and less severe contractions and milder expansions. Certain cultural traits, such as lack of acceptance of power distance and individualism, are also linked business cycle features. Business cycle synchronization is tightly related to similarities in the institutional environment. Mediterranean countries conform to these general tendencies.
    Keywords: Business cycles, institutions, culture, Mediterranean countries, synchronization.
    JEL: C32 E32
    Date: 2012–04

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