nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2015‒12‒28
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. What do you prefer for a relaxing and cultural time at home: Reading, watching TV, or listening to the radio? By Molina, Jose Alberto; Campaña, Juan Carlos; Ortega, Raquel
  2. The Political Legacy of Entertainment TV By Ruben Durante; Paolo Pinotti; Andrea Tesei
  3. Let the Music Play? Free Streaming, Product Discovery, and Digital Music Consumption By Luis Aguiar
  4. Geographic Fragmentation in the EU Market for e-Books: The case of Amazon By Georgios Alaveras; Estrella Gomez Herrera; Bertin Martens

  1. By: Molina, Jose Alberto; Campaña, Juan Carlos; Ortega, Raquel
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of time spent by Spanish consumers on reading, watching TV, and listening to the radio, by estimating a SUR model with data from the Spanish Time Use Survey for 2009-2010. The existing literature on the consumption of cultural goods has, so far, failed to address the determinants of the amount of time adults spend at home interacting with cultural goods. We find that age has a positive influence on the time dedicated to reading, while the opposite occurs with time spent watching TV. Men spend more time than women watching television and listening to the radio, while those in our sample with a higher level of education spend more time reading. Individuals with a lower level of education spend more time watching television. The more children there are in the family, the less time is spent on all three options, but this negative effect diminishes as the children grow older. Finally, living in a larger city has a positive effect on the time dedicated to all three of our cultural options.
    Keywords: Reading, Watching TV, Listening to the radio, Time uses at home
    JEL: D12 J22 Z11
    Date: 2015–12–19
  2. By: Ruben Durante (Sciences Po and CEPR); Paolo Pinotti (Bocconi University and DONDENA Center); Andrea Tesei (Queen Mary University of London and CEP (LSE))
    Abstract: We investigate the political impact of entertainment television in Italy over the past thirty years by exploiting the staggered introduction of Silvio Berlusconi's commercial TV network, Mediaset, in the early 1980s. We find that individuals in municipalities that had access to Mediaset prior to 1985 - when the network only featured light entertainment programs - were significantly more likely to vote for Berlusconi's party in 1994, when he first ran for office. This effect persists for almost two decades and five elections, and is especially pronounced for heavy TV viewers, namely the very young and the old. We relate the extreme persistence of the effect to the relative incidence of these age groups in the voting population, and explore different mechanisms through which early exposure to entertainment content may have influenced their political attitudes.
    Keywords: Television, Entertainment, Voting, Political participation, Italy
    JEL: L82 D72 Z13
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Luis Aguiar (European Commission - JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: Interactive music streaming services have grown tremendously in recent years, raising questions about their eects on digital music sales and piracy. While often overlooked in practice, theoretical considerations suggest that these eects may differ according to the streaming services' functionality. Premium subscriptions, for instance, oer consumers unlimited and unconstrained access to music, providing little incentives to acquire digital music through alternative channels of consumption. On the other hand, free and advertisement-supported services provide consumers with very limited mobility in their usage. If music streaming allows for the discovery of new products, and if consumers value mobility, then free streaming services may well stimulate the use of channels that oer the possibility of mobile consumption. We rely on individual-level clickstream data on a representative sample of 5,000 French Internet users to study the question of how free music streaming aects music purchasing and piracy behavior. We exploit the introduction of a listening cap by the French streaming platform Deezer in June 2011 to identify this causal eect in a dierence-in-dierences setting. Our results show that free streaming services stimulate alternative channels of music consumption that oer mobility. We nd that users of Deezer's free streaming services visited licensed downloading websites up to 2.9% less than they would have had the restriction not been introduced. Similarly, they decrease their visits to unlicensed downloading websites by as much as 2%. Our ndings are indicative of online music streaming serving as an information channel for the discovery of new products, and our analysis serves as a rst step toward understanding the heterogeneity of eects that streaming platforms may have on the rapidly changing recorded music industry.
    Keywords: Music Streaming, Music Industry, Copyright
    JEL: K42 L82 O34 O38
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Georgios Alaveras (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Estrella Gomez Herrera (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Bertin Martens (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: This study examines geographical market segmentation in the market for e-books in the EU, based on data from the Amazon Kindle e-books store, the market leader. Residents in all EU countries have access to the Amazon US Kindle store. However, access to Amazon's 6 e-book stores in the EU (UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands) is restricted to residents in each of these countries and in 4 neighbouring countries with which they share a language. There is no cross-border store access between these 6 countries. Because e-book catalogues are 93% overlapping between these 6 stores, cross-border access restrictions do not significantly affect cross-border availability in the EU6+4=EU10. Even for the remaining EU18 cross-border availability is very high because they have access to nearly all e-books in the EU6 stores via the Amazon US store. They have no direct access to the EU6 e-book stores however. Lifting digital access walls for Amazon e-book stores in the EU would result in a small increase only in the book titles available to EU consumers. E-book prices vary between Amazon EU stores, and between EU and US e-book stores. Currently, EU10 consumers can find price arbitrage opportunities between their local store and the US store only. Consumers in the remaining EU18 can buy from the US store only. Lifting geographical access restrictions would increase price arbitrage options, especially for EU18 e-book consumers. However, the welfare impact is difficult to predict as it might lead to increased price convergence, with winners and losers. E-book prices excluding VAT appear to be negatively correlated with VAT rates. This reduces consumer price variation despite variations in VAT rates across countries. The discrepancy between universal access to the US e-book store and geographically restricted access to the same e-books in EU stores indicates that access is driven by commercial considerations rather than objective legal barriers related to the EU copyright management regime. Market segmentation piggy-backs on but is not driven by the copyright regime.
    Keywords: Amazon, e-books, geographical market segmentation, EU market, electronic publishing
    JEL: F15
    Date: 2015

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