nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2014‒08‒25
six papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Does Culture Affect Local Productivity and Urban Amenities? By Brahim Boualam; ;
  2. Madagascar Tourism Sector Review : Unlocking the Tourism Potential of an Unpolished Gem By World Bank
  3. Seychelles Tourism Sector Review : Sustaining Growth in a Successful Tourism Destination By World Bank
  4. “Phantom of the Opera” or “Sex and the City”? – Historical Amenities as Sources of Exogenous Variation By Thomas K. Bauer; Philipp Breidenbach; Christoph M. Schmidt
  5. How To Safeguard World Heritage Sites? A Theoretical Model of "Cultural Responsibility" By Leonardo Becchetti; Nazaria Solferino; Maria Elisabetta Tessitore
  6. The magic of storytelling: How curiosity and aesthetic preferences work By Bianchi, Marina

  1. By: Brahim Boualam; ;
    Abstract: Does a better cultural milieu make a city more livable for residents and improve its business environment for firms? I compute a measure of cultural specialization for 346 U.S. metropolitan areas and ask if differences in cultural environment capitalize into housing price and wage differentials. Simple correlations replicate standard results from the literature: cities that are more specialized in cultural occupations enjoy higher factor prices. Estimations using time-series data, controlling for city characteristics and correcting for endogeneity weaken the magnitude of this effect. Even though the arts and culture might be appealing to some people and firms, such determinants are not strong enough to affect factor prices at the city level.
    Keywords: Urban economics, location choice, local amenities, culture.
    Date: 2014–01
  2. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Environment - Tourism and Ecotourism Culture and Development - Cultural Policy Accommodation and Tourism Industry Cultural Heritage and Preservation Transport Economics Policy and Planning Transport Industry
    Date: 2013–07
  3. By: World Bank
    Keywords: Environment - Tourism and Ecotourism Culture and Development - Cultural Policy Accommodation and Tourism Industry Cultural Heritage and Preservation Water Resources - Oceans Industry
    Date: 2013–07
  4. By: Thomas K. Bauer; Philipp Breidenbach; Christoph M. Schmidt
    Abstract: Using the location of baroque opera houses as a natural experiment, Falck et al. (2011) claim to document a positive causal effect of the supply of cultural goods on today’s regional distribution of talents. This paper raises serious doubts on the validity of the identification strategy underlying these estimates, though. While we are able to replicate the original results, we proceed to show that the same empirical strategy also assigns positive causal effects to the location of historical brothels and breweries. These estimated effects are similar in size and significance to those of historical opera houses. We document that all these estimates reflect the importance of institutions for longrun economic growth, and that the effect of historical amenities on the contemporary local share of high skilled workers disappears upon controlling for regions’ historical importance.
    Keywords: Human capital; historical amenities; regional competiveness
    JEL: R11 H42 J24
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Nazaria Solferino (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Maria Elisabetta Tessitore (University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: We outline a model in which preservation of UNESCO heritage sites is analyzed as a classical global public good problem where the decentralized Nash equilibrium yields suboptimal contribution vis-à-vis the Social Planner equilibrium. The absence of a Global Social Planner and the need of coordination across different countries for the implementation of the second solution make the Social Planner equilibrium hardly attainable. The same problem arises when trying to enforce symmetric or asymmetric tax deductions in different countries. We analyse the contribution that cultural corporate responsibility can give to the solution of the problem discussing its limits and potential vis-à-vis the other two alternatives.
    Keywords: Public Goods, Firm Behavior, Cultural Economics
    JEL: H41 D21 Z1
    Date: 2014–07–18
  6. By: Bianchi, Marina
    Abstract: Why do we love stories? That this is not an idle question is shown by the fact that we spend an enormous amount of time in our lives following stories: telling and listening to them; reading them; watching them on television or in films or on stage. Despite their recurrent similarity and even predictability, we continue to enjoy them. The paper brings to bear on this question two different strands of current literature in experimental psychology: the literature on aesthetic preferences, and the literature on curiosity and interest. The paper discusses how, in the case of storytelling in particular, though also of creative activities in general, there are two types of curiosity at work: explorative curiosity - associated with investigating new ideas for the simple joy of it and regardless of source - and specific curiosity, corresponding to focused exploration and aimed at solving problems for which the accuracy and relevance of information is of importance. In both cases curiosity is felt as an intensely pleasant experience, which is affected not only by external, but also by the internal stimuli of novelty and challenge. But how does interest/curiosity solidify into preferences that have stability enough to guarantee guidance yet sufficient flexibility to allow for change? The answer explored here highlights the distinction between comfort goods and activities and creative goods and activities. The latter, which allow for complexity, variety and multiplicity of dimensions have a transformative power that allows also for sustained stimulation and interest. The broader aim is to analyze the behavior of individual preferences in consumption activity, not only of art, the usual focus in discussion of aesthetic preferences, but also of all those goods and activities that can be called creative. --
    JEL: D01 D11
    Date: 2014

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