nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2017‒08‒13
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Media Competition, Information Provision and Political Participation: Evidence from French Local Newspapers and Elections, 1944-2014 By Cagé, Julia
  2. The impact of the soccer schedule on TV viewership and stadium attendance: evidence from the Belgian Pro League By Chang Wang; Dries Goossens; Martina Vandebroek
  3. Resistance to Institutions and Cultural Distance: Brigandage in Post-Unification Italy By Giampaolo Lecce; Laura Ogliari; Tommaso Orlando
  4. Understanding Cultural Persistence and Change By Giuliano, Paola; Nunn, Nathan

  1. By: Cagé, Julia
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of increased media competition on the quantity and quality of news provided and, ultimately, on political participation. Drawing upon existing literature on vertical product differentiation, I explore the conditions under which an increase in the number of newspapers can decrease both the quantity and quality of news provided. I build a new county-level panel dataset of local newspaper presence, newspapers' newsrooms, costs and revenues and political turnout in France, from 1944 to 2014. I estimate the effect of newspaper entry by comparing counties that experience entry to similar counties in the same years that do not. Both sets of counties exhibit similar trends prior to newspaper entry, but those with entry experience substantial declines in the average number of journalists (business-stealing effect). An increased number of newspapers is also associated with fewer articles and less hard news provision. These effects are stronger in counties with more homogeneous populations, as predicted by my simple theoretical framework, whereas there is little impact in counties with more heterogeneous populations. Newspaper entry, and the associated decline in information provision, is ultimately found to decrease voter turnout at local elections.
    Keywords: hard news; media competition; newspaper content; political participation; size of the newsroom; soft news
    JEL: D72 L11 L13 L82
    Date: 2017–08
  2. By: Chang Wang; Dries Goossens; Martina Vandebroek
    Abstract: In the past decade, television broadcasters have been investing a huge amount of money for the Belgian Pro League broadcasting rights. These companies pursue an audience rating maximization, which depends heavily on the schedule of the league matches. At the same time, clubs try to maximize their home attendance and find themselves affected by the schedule as well. Our paper aims to capture the Belgian soccer fans’ preferences with respect to scheduling options, both for watching matches on TV and in the stadium. We carried out a discrete choice experiment using an online survey questionnaire distributed on a national scale. The choice sets are based on three match characteristics: month, kickoff time, and quality of the opponent. The first part of this survey concerns television broadcasting aspects. The second part includes questions about stadium attendance. The choice data is first analyzed with a conditional logit model which assumes homogenous preferences. Then a mixed logit model is fit to model the heterogeneity among the fans. The estimates are used to calculate the expected utility of watching a Belgian Pro League match for every possible setting, either on TV or in the stadium. These predictions are validated in terms of the real audience rating and home attendance data. Our results can be used to improve the scheduling process of the Belgian Pro League in order to persuade more fans to watch the matches on TV or in a stadium.
    Keywords: Audience ratings, Belgian soccer, Conditional logit model, Discrete choice experiment, Mixed logit model, Schedule, Stadium attendance
    Date: 2017–07
  3. By: Giampaolo Lecce (Bocconi University - Department of Economics); Laura Ogliari (Bocconi University); Tommaso Orlando (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We study how cultural distance affects the rejection of imposed institutions. To this purpose, we exploit the transplantation of Piedmontese institutions on Southern Italy which occurred during the Italian unification. We assemble a novel and unique dataset containing information on episodes of brigandage, a form of violent uprising against the unitary government, at the municipal level. We use geographic distance from local settlements of Piedmontese descent as a proxy for cultural distance between each municipality and the new rulers. We find robust evidence that cultural distance from the origins of the transplanted institutions is significantly associated with more intense resistance to these institutions. Our results further suggest that the rejection of the transplanted institutions may have a long lasting effect on political participation.
    Keywords: Institutions, Institutional Transplantations, Culture, Social Unrest, Electoral Turnout
    JEL: N43 D74 P16 Z10
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Giuliano, Paola (University of California, Los Angeles); Nunn, Nathan (Harvard University)
    Abstract: When does culture persist and when does it change? We examine a determinant that has been put forth in the anthropology literature: the variability of the environment from one generation to the next. A prediction, which emerges from a class of existing models from evolutionary anthropology, is that following the customs of the previous generation is relatively more beneficial in stable environments where the culture that has evolved up to the previous generation is more likely to be relevant for the subsequent generation. We test this hypothesis by measuring the variability of average temperature across 20-year generations from 500–1900. Looking across countries, ethnic groups, and the descendants of immigrants, we find that populations with ancestors who lived in environments with more stability from one generation to the next place a greater importance in maintaining tradition today. These populations also exhibit more persistence in their traditions over time.
    Keywords: cultural persistence, cultural change, tradition
    JEL: N10 Q54
    Date: 2017–07

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