nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2014‒12‒29
six papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Between conflicts and partnerships: Managing the UNESCO World heritage label in peripheral and metropolitan urban regions in Europe By Carola Silvia Neugebauer
  2. Does Reading During the Summer Build Reading Skills? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in 463 Classrooms By Jonathan Guryan; James S. Kim; David M. Quinn
  3. Urban Conservation Policy- the Case of Hamamönü-Ankara-Turkey By Nevin Gültekin
  4. Culture: Persistence and Evolution By Giavazzi, Francesco; Petkov, Ivan; Schiantarelli, Fabio
  5. It's Raining Men! Hallelujah? By Pauline Grosjean; Rose Khattar
  6. Immigrant Fertility in Germany: The Role of Culture By Kamila Cygan-Rehm

  1. By: Carola Silvia Neugebauer
    Abstract: The UNESCO world heritage label (WHL) is a contentious topic in local to global public, and it gains in importance for the urban and regional development in Europe for some reasons. So on the one hand, the nominations of European sites as UNESCO world heritage are increasing steadily, and on the other hand the polarization of space is still continuing. Thus, the disparities between peripheral and metropolitan regions and their towns are growing. The need to steer sustainably the economic, demographic and cultural concentration processes in metropolises confronts the challenge in peripheral regions to stabilize and initiate developments. In consequence of these trends the UNESCO world heritage label constitutes a relevant urban and regional topic that refers to conflicting connotations like 'development barrier' and 'source of conflict' on the one hand, and 'chance for development' on the other. To date, however, the potential of the WHL for sustainable urban and regional development is barely investigated. Neither the local socio-cultural, economic and institutional effects of the world heritage status, nor the mechanisms and conditions of its local effectiveness have been investigated in a critical and systematic way. Moreover, there is little research on the local management approaches, how to enhance (save and use) the UNESCO label for sustainable urban development which should be based on the principles of integration, participation and justice. Against this background, a recent research project evaluated the UNESCO world heritage label as potential for urban sustainable development. Mindful of the intertwined local to global contextual dimensions and actor networks it questioned the hypotheses that the spatial (peripheral and metropolitan) context of an urban region and the local actors' concepts and activities towards the WHL do influence the status' impacts on urban development. A special emphasis was given to the analysis of local partnerships, planning instruments and communication processes, tackling the UNESCO label as potential for urban development. Based on a realist evaluation approach that links economic and social theory with comparative case study research in the three European world heritage cities of St. Petersburg (Russia), Stralsund and Wismar (Germany), the project finally proves the WHL as a topic of cross-sectoral importance for urban regions, affecting collaterally political and administrative as well as economic and socio-cultural local processes and structures in a positive or negative way. The WHL constitutes a potential for sustainable urban development indeed, but in dependence on the spatial context of an urban region as well as on the local actors' approaches, how to enhance the WHL. Mindful of these insights, the project argues for spatially differentiated and actor sensitive local management approaches in order to preserve the urban world heritage and to use the WHL for socio-cultural and economic sustainable development.
    Keywords: urban sustainability; UNESCO world heritage label; urban governance; evaluation research
    Date: 2014–11
  2. By: Jonathan Guryan; James S. Kim; David M. Quinn
    Abstract: There are large gaps in reading skills by family income among school-aged children in the United States. Correlational evidence suggests that reading skills are strongly related to the amount of reading students do outside of school. Experimental evidence testing whether this relationship is causal is lacking. We report the results from a randomized evaluation of a summer reading program called Project READS, which induces students to read more during the summer by mailing ten books to them, one per week. Simple intent-to-treat estimates show that the program increased reading during the summer, and show significant effects on reading comprehension test scores in the fall for third grade girls but not for third grade boys or second graders of either gender. Analyses that take advantage of within-classroom random assignment and cross-classroom variation in treatment effects show evidence that reading more books generates increases in reading comprehension skills, particularly when students read carefully enough to be able to answer basic questions about the books they read, and particularly for girls.
    JEL: I24 J24
    Date: 2014–11
  3. By: Nevin Gültekin
    Abstract: As an extension of the urban regeneration process initiated in Turkey during the years of 2000, the concept of renewal-based preservation approach is being implemented through rehabilitation and regeneration projects designed for areas of cultural heritage. Once the capital holders and the political power discovered the financial benefits to be endowed by cultural heritage into the fields of tourism and urban profits, such projects of rehabilitation and regeneration displace the projects of conservation. In this process, instead of the building which is classified as a cultural heritage, the piece of land on which it is located is considered as an area of investment in the real-estate capital market. Therefore, and in line with this consideration, such implementations of demolishing the old buildings and constructing new buildings in their place, or constructing new buildings referencing the past, are supported by laws, even to the extent that legislation alterations are made contrary to conservation. As such, regeneration projects generally implemented utilizing public financing and public mediation are rapidly realized instead of achieving the concept of integrated conservation planning which envisages transparent, participatory, partaker development. Hence, gentrifications turn out to be inevitable through the functional alterations of the cultural heritage areas which are regenerated as touristic, commercial and recreational areas. However, disowning the public and societal benefits targeted at with the concept of conservation, the urban regeneration and/or renewal that slid over to urban value increase concept is evaluated as success in urban conservation. This state will be examined through the Hamamönü area which is registered as a preservation area by law and which is an area that exhibits the traditional, historical and urban weaving of the city of Ankara. Hamamönü project was initiated in the year 2006 and a large proportion of it is completed. The implementation of rehabilitation projects with its different phases and methods were first started to be applied over this area. This area is selected as the case to be studied since it discloses the conservation policies implemented in Turkey.
    Keywords: urban conservation policy; urban rehabilitation; gentrification; Ankara-Turkey
    Date: 2014–11
  4. By: Giavazzi, Francesco; Petkov, Ivan; Schiantarelli, Fabio
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence on the speed of evolution (or lack thereof) of a wide range of values and beliefs of different generations of European immigrants to the US. The main result is that persistence differs greatly across cultural attitudes. Some, for instance deep personal religious values, some family and moral values, and political orientation converge very slowly to the prevailing US norm. Other, such as attitudes toward cooperation, redistribution, effort, children's independence, premarital sex, and even the frequency of religious practice or the intensity of association with one's religion, converge rather quickly. The results obtained studying higher generation immigrants differ greatly from those found when the analysis is limited to the second generation, as typically done in the literature, and they imply a lesser degree of persistence than previously thought. Finally, we show that persistence is “culture specific" in the sense that the country from which one's ancestors came matters for the pattern of generational convergence.
    Keywords: beliefs; culture; evolution; immigration; integration; persistence; transmission; values
    JEL: A13 F22 J00 J61 Z1
    Date: 2014–06
  5. By: Pauline Grosjean (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales); Rose Khattar (School of Economics, Australian School of Business, the University of New South Wales)
    Abstract: We document the implications of missing women in the short and long run. We exploit a natural historical experiment, which sent large numbers of male convicts and far fewer female convicts to Australia in the 18th and 19th century. In areas with higher sex ratios, women historically married more, worked less, and were less likely to occupy high-rank occupations. Today, people have more conservative attitudes towards women working, women are still less likely to have high-ranking occupations, and they earn lower wages. We document the role of vertical cultural transmission and of marriage homogamy in sustaining cultural persistence. Our results are robust to controlling for a wide array of geographic and historical controls, which determined spatial variation in the sex ratio, as well as present-day controls and to instrumenting the overall sex ratio by the sex ratio among convicts.
    Keywords: Culture, gender roles, sex ratio, natural experiment, Australia
    JEL: I31 N37 J16
    Date: 2014–10
  6. By: Kamila Cygan-Rehm
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the role of home country’s fertility culture in shaping immigrants’ fertility. I use the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) to study completed fertility of first-generation immigrants who arrived from different countries and in different years. The variation in total fertility rates (TFRs) across countries and over time serves as a proxy for cultural changes. By using a linear fixed-effects approach, I find that women from countries with high TFRs have significantly more children than women from countries with low TFRs. I also demonstrate that this positive relationship is attenuated by potential selection that operates towards the destination country. In addition, home country’s TFRs explain a large proportion of fertility differentials between immigrants and German natives. The results suggest that home country’s culture affects immigrants’ long-run outcomes, thereby supporting the socialization hypothesis.
    Keywords: migration, fertility, socialization, culture, Germany
    JEL: J13 J15 Z10 Z13
    Date: 2014

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