nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2015‒01‒19
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Plastic Beach Utopia: Gorillaz’ Multimedia Concept Project In The Context Of Contemporary Popular Music Culture By Natalia Samutina
  2. Inclusive Heritage-Based City Development Program in India By World Bank Group; Cities Alliance
  3. To Invent Or Copy: Ethnic And Spatial Images Of The Pre-Photographical Epoch By Elena A. Vishlenkova
  4. Cultural Biases in Public Service Delivery: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach By Athias, Laure; Wicht, Pascal

  1. By: Natalia Samutina (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper aims to provide analysis of the most general problems of the music industry in the digital age. It poses a question about the possibility of innovation and conceptual development in contemporary popular music, overflowed with retromania. A growing popularity of such form as a “concept album” and its transformation into concept multimedia projects is regarded as a positive sign of the changes in music production and distribution. Detailed cultural analysis of one particular case, the multimedia concept project by the British band Gorillaz, demonstrates how a substantial cultural and musical innovation can exist today in the framework of popular entertainment. The last studio album by Gorillaz, called Plastic Beach (2010) works with the concept of Utopia and utopian imagery, presenting music as a space for free and meaningful collaboration among musicians and for the creation of the diverse community of listeners.
    Keywords: popular music, cultural studies, Utopia, concept album, multimedia projects, Gorillaz
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  2. By: World Bank Group; Cities Alliance
    Keywords: Culture and Development - Cultural Policy Urban Development - City Development Strategies Housing and Human Habitats Cultural Heritage and Preservation Transport Economics Policy and Planning Communities and Human Settlements Transport
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Elena A. Vishlenkova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The article focuses on theoretical aspects of an analysis of visual culture and the national and ethnic imagination throughout the latter part of the 18th century and the first 30years of the 19th century. Social conventions of demonstration and vision are revealed through works of art were issued by mass artistic production, such as paintings, medals, tapestries, snuffboxes, caricatures, cheap prints, theatre decorations, optical toys and glazed tableware, and sculptured symbols. At that time, the achievement of these conventions was linked to the cultural elite’s desire to determine the boundaries of the Russian nation and to distinguish it from the other tribes and people of the Russian Empire. The author also scrutinizes the cognitive abilities of the image and its abilities to shape of national consciousness
    Keywords: Russian empire, visual culture, national imagination, ethnic consciousness, Russianness, natural knowledge
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Athias, Laure; Wicht, Pascal
    Abstract: What determines the share of public employment, at a given size of the State, in countries of similar levels of economic development? While the theoretical and empirical literature on this issue has mostly considered technical dimensions (efficiency and political considerations), this paper emphasizes the role of culture and quantifies it. We build a representative database for contracting choices of municipalities in Switzerland and exploit the discontinuity at the Swiss language border at identical actual set of policies and institutions to analyze the causal effect of culture on the choice of how public services are provided. We find that French-speaking border municipalities are 50% less likely to contract with the private sector than their German-speaking adjacent municipalities. Technical dimensions are much smaller by comparison. This result points out that culture is a source of a potential bias that distorts the optimal choice for public service delivery. Systematic differences in the level of confidence in public administration and private companies potentially explain this discrepancy in private sector participation in public services provision.
    Keywords: Public service delivery, Contracting out, Make-or-buy decision, Culture, Regression discontinuity design
    JEL: D23 D73 H11 H4 L33 Z1
    Date: 2014–10–15

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