nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2015‒01‒31
five papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”

  1. Factors Affecting the Financial Success of Motion Pictures: What is the Role of Star Power? By Geethanjali Selvaretnam ; Jen-Yuan Yang
  2. Cultural Diversity - A Matter of Measurement By Peter Nijkamp ; Jacques Poot
  3. Corporate Culture, Societal Culture, and Institutions. By Luigi Guiso ; Paola Sapienza ; Luigi Zingales
  4. Are we all overconfident in the long run? Evidence from one million marathon participants. By Michał Krawczyk ; Maciej Wilamowski
  5. Fairness, socialization and the cultural deman for redistribution By Gilles Le Garrec

  1. By: Geethanjali Selvaretnam (University of St Andrews ); Jen-Yuan Yang
    Abstract: In the mid-1940s, American film industry was on its way up to its golden era as studios started mass-producing iconic feature films. The escalating increase in popularity of Hollywood stars was actively suggested for its direct links to box office success by academics. Using data collected in 2007, this paper carries out an empirical investigation on how different factors, including star power, affect the revenue of ‘home-run’ movies in Hollywood. Due to the subjective nature of star power, two different approaches were used: (1) number of nominations and wins of Academy Awards by the key players, and (2) average lifetime gross revenue of films involving the key players preceding the sample year. It is found that number of Academy awards nominations and wins was not statistically significant in generating box office revenue, whereas star power based on the second approach was statistically significant. Other significant factors were critics’ reviews, screen coverage and top distributor, while number of Academy awards, MPAA-rating, seasonality, being a sequel and popular genre were not statistically significant.
    Keywords: star power, motion picture industry, box-office earnings, academy awards
    JEL: C01 L83 Z11
    Date: 2015–01–12
  2. By: Peter Nijkamp (VU University ); Jacques Poot (University of Waikato )
    Abstract: Cultural diversity – in various forms – has in recent years turned into a prominent and relevant research and policy issue. There is an avalanche of studies across many disciplines that measure and analyse cultural diversity and its impacts. Based on different perspectives and features of the available data, a great variety of diversity indicators have emerged. The present paper aims to highlight some critical issues involved in applying such measures of cultural diversity. A selection of commonly used or recently advocated measures are reviewed. Measures of population diversity can be calculated at different spatial scales and used to analyse spatio-temporal heterogeneity. Additionally, there is a growing interest in measuring spatial dependence, particularly in the form of segregation or clusters. We conclude that there will be in the future considerable scope for adopting multidimensional and cultural distance-weighted measures of diversity. Such measures will be increasingly calculated by means of rich geo-referenced longitudinal micro data. However, adopted measures must be better motivated by behavioural theories. Further research on the determinants and impacts of observed measures of diversity is also likely to be fruitful, particularly in a dynamical setting.
    Keywords: diversity, dissimilarity measurement, ethnicity, culture, segregation, polarization, fractionalization
    JEL: C00 D63 J15 R23 Z13
    Date: 2015–01
  3. By: Luigi Guiso (EIEF and CEPR ); Paola Sapienza (Northwestern University, NBER and CEPR ); Luigi Zingales (University of Chicago, NBER and CEPR )
    Abstract: While both cultural and legal norms (institutions) help foster cooperation, culture is the more primitive of the two and itself sustains formal institutions. Cultural changes are rarer and slower than changes in legal institutions, which makes it difficult to identify the role played by culture. Cultural changes and their effects are easier to identify in simpler, more controlled, environments, such as corporations. Corporate culture, thus, is not only interesting per se, but also as a laboratory to study the role of societal culture and the way it can be changed.
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Michał Krawczyk (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw ); Maciej Wilamowski (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw )
    Abstract: In this project we sought to contribute to extant literature on overconfidence by identifying it in a large, heterogeneous sample making familiar, repeated choices in a natural environment which provides direct feedback. In Study 1 we elicited predictions of own finishing time among participants of the 2012 Warsaw Marathon. Their prediction errors turned out to be very highly correlated with the change in pace over the course of the run. In Study 2 we thus took this change in pace as a proxy for self-confidence and used existing field data of around one million participants. Both studies indicate that males as well as youngest and oldest participants tend to be more confident. In Study 2 we are also able to investigate national and cultural dimensions, confirming previously reported findings of relative overconfidence in Asians and providing some novel results, i.a. that relatively conservative societies tend to be more self-confident.
    Keywords: overconfidence, performance forecasts, gender differences, age effects, national culture
    JEL: C93 D01 Z1
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Gilles Le Garrec (OFCE )
    Abstract: When studying redistributive attitudes, surveys show that individuals do care about fairness. They also show that the cultural environment in which individuals grow up aspects their preferences about redistribution. In this article we include these two components of the demand for redistribution in order to develop a mechanism for the cultural transmission of the concern for fairness. The preferences of the young are partially shaped through the observation and imitation of others.choices in a way that is consistent with the so- cialization process. More specifically, observing during childhood how adults have collectively failed to implement fair redistributive policies lowers the concern for fairness or the moral cost of not supporting fair taxation. Based on this mechanism, the model exhibits a multiplicity of history-dependent steady states that may account for the huge and persistent differences in redistribution observed between Europe and the United States. It also explains why immigrants from countries with a preference for greater redistribution continue to support higher redistribution in their destination country.
    Keywords: Redistribution; fairness; majority rule; socialization; endogenous preference
    JEL: H53 D63 D72
    Date: 2014–12

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