nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2013‒02‒16
five papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
University Amedeo Avogadro

  1. Art Market Inefficiency By Geraldine David; Kim Oosterlinck; Ariane Szafarz
  2. Factors explaining the spatial agglomeration of the Creative Class – Empirical evidence for German artists By Christoph Alfken; Tom Broekel; Rolf Sternberg
  3. Exposure to Television and Individual Beliefs: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Tanja Hennighausen
  4. Meet the Press: How Voters and Politicians Respond to Newspaper Entry and Exit By Drago, Francesco; Nannicini, Tommaso; Sobbrio, Francesco
  5. Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation By Ashraf, Quamrul; Galor, Oded

  1. By: Geraldine David; Kim Oosterlinck; Ariane Szafarz
    Abstract: Art is often used as an investment vehicle. Given the importance of market efficiency in finance, we use a large auction-based index to test whether the art market is weakly efficient. Evidence reveals that returns on artworks exhibit high positive auto-correlation. We attribute this result to price truncation resulting from unobservable reserve prices in auctions. We conclude that the art market is not efficient, mainly because price formation is opaque to outsiders who lack information on unsold artworks.
    Keywords: Art Market; Market Efficiency; Auction; Random Walk; Reserve Price
    JEL: G14 Z11 G12 D44 D84
    Date: 2013–02–11
  2. By: Christoph Alfken (Institue of Economic and Cultural Geography, Leibnitz-University of Hannover); Tom Broekel (Institue of Economic and Cultural Geography, Leibnitz-University of Hannover); Rolf Sternberg (Institue of Economic and Cultural Geography, Leibnitz-University of Hannover)
    Abstract: The paper contributes to the ongoing debate about the relative importance of economic and amenity-related location factors for attracting talents or members of the creative class. While Florida highlights the role of amenities, openness, and tolerance, others instead emphasize the role of regional productions systems, local labour markets and externalities. The paper sheds light on this issue by analysing changes in the spatial distribution of four groups of artists over time: visual artists, performing artists, musicians, and writers. Little evidence is found for amenity-related factors influencing the growth rates of regional artist populations. Moreover, artists are shown to be a heterogeneous group inasmuch as the relative importance of regional factors significantly differs between artist branches.
    Keywords: Artists, bohemians, creative class, spatial dynamics, amenities, agglomeration
    JEL: O31 O18 R12
    Date: 2013–02–08
  3. By: Tanja Hennighausen
    Abstract: Does the information provided by mass media have the power to persistently affect individual beliefs about the drivers of success in life? To answer this question empirically, this contribution exploits a natural experiment on the reception of West German television in the former German Democratic Republic. After identifying the impact of Western television on individual beliefs and attitudes in the late 1980s, longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel is used to test the persistence of the television effect on individual beliefs during the 1990s. The empirical findings indicate that Western television exposure has made East Germans more inclined to believe that effort rather than luck determines success in life. Furthermore, this effect still persists several years after the German reunification.
    Keywords: media, beliefs, East Germany, SOEP
    JEL: D78 D83 H89 P39
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Drago, Francesco (University of Naples Federico II); Nannicini, Tommaso (Bocconi University); Sobbrio, Francesco (European University Institute)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of changes in the supply of news provided by newspapers on electoral participation, political selection, and government efficiency. We address these issues in the Italian context by constructing a new dataset covering the presence of local news by different types of newspapers (i.e., local and national) for all cities above 15,000 inhabitants in the period 1993-2010. The identification strategy exploits discrete changes in the number of newspapers supplying local news and the precise timing of these events. The results show that the entry of newspapers in the market for local news leads to an increase in turnout in municipal elections, a higher probability of the incumbent mayor being reelected, and an improvement in the efficiency of the municipal government (as measured by the speed of revenue collection). The effect of newspapers on government efficiency is larger when mayors are not term-limited and thus face reelection incentives. Our evidence shows that newspapers do not have a major impact on the selection of politicians, but they play a relevant role in keeping politicians accountable once they are in office. Competition plays a relevant role, as the effects are not limited to the first newspaper entering the market.
    Keywords: newspapers, media competition, turnout, political selection, accountability
    JEL: L82 D72 H70
    Date: 2013–01
  5. By: Ashraf, Quamrul (Williams College); Galor, Oded (Brown University)
    Abstract: Despite the importance attributed to the effects of diversity on the stability and prosperity of nations, the origins of the uneven distribution of ethnic and cultural fragmentation across countries have been underexplored. Building on the role of deeply-rooted biogeographical forces in comparative development, this research empirically demonstrates that genetic diversity, predominantly determined during the prehistoric "out of Africa" migration of humans, is an underlying cause of various existing manifestations of ethnolinguistic heterogeneity. Further exploration of this uncharted territory may revolutionize the understanding of the effects of deeply-rooted factors on economic development and the composition of human capital across the globe.
    Keywords: genetic diversity, fractionalization, development
    JEL: N30 O10 O50 Z10
    Date: 2013–01

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