nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2017‒09‒03
five papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Governance in Sports Organizations By Wolfgang Maennig
  2. Corruption and Media Concentration: A Panel Data Analysis By Cherkaoui Malki, Sofiane
  3. Economic Origins of Cultural Norms: The Case of Animal Husbandry and Bastardy By Eder, Christoph; Halla, Martin
  4. Media and crime perceptions: Evidence from Mexico By Aurora Alejandra Ramirez-Alvarez

  1. By: Wolfgang Maennig (Chair for Economic Policy, University of Hamburg)
    Date: 2017–08–23
  2. By: Cherkaoui Malki, Sofiane
    Abstract: My master thesis studies the relationship between media concentration and corruption based on a panel data analysis, with a panel dataset which provides information about 29 countries over a span of 19 years. Based on a cross-section analysis Djankov, McLiesh, Nenova and Shleifer (2003, JLE) which focused on the relationship between corruption and media state-ownership, I enhance their results thanks to panel data fixed effects, to control for more unobservable effects, and several robustness checks. As Djankov et al did, we focus on two specific media markets: television (TV) and daily newspapers. Thanks to new data from the book “Who Owns the World‟s Media?” (Noam, 2016), I broaden the spectrum of their article to focus on the correlations between corruption and all types of media concentration (public, private and the industry). I confine their previous results: a positive correlation is found only for public TV with large shares of the market. In fact, I find a negative correlation between public TV shares and corruption for lower levels of state-ownership, especially in the case of developed countries. Contrary to daily newspapers, this result remains after many robustness checks. I provide evidence that low-levels of state-ownership limit concentration of private media, reducing the risk of media capture. Indeed, competition within the private sector is found to be negatively correlated with corruption. Finally, I find weak evidence for a positive correlation between corruption and media industry concentration in only two cases: when considering all types of media and when considering TV alone.
    Keywords: Bureaucratic Corruption, Media Concentration, Media Capture
    JEL: D72 D73 L82
    Date: 2017–08–24
  3. By: Eder, Christoph (University of Innsbruck); Halla, Martin (University of Innsbruck)
    Abstract: This paper explores the historical origins of the cultural norm regarding illegitimacy (formerly known as bastardy). We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural production structures influenced the historical illegitimacy ratio, and have had a lasting effect until today. Based on data from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and modern Austria, we show that regions that focused on animal husbandry (as compared to crop farming) had significantly higher illegitimacy ratios in the past, and female descendants of these societies are still more likely to approve illegitimacy and give birth outside of marriage today. To establish causality, we exploit, within an IV approach, variation in the local agricultural suitability, which determined the historical dominance of animal husbandry. Since differences in the agricultural production structure are completely obsolete in today's economy, we suggest interpreting the persistence in revealed and stated preferences as a cultural norm. Complementary evidence from an 'epidemiological approach' suggests that this norm is passed down through generations, and the family is the most important transmission channel. Our findings point to a more general phenomenon that cultural norms can be shaped by economic conditions, and may persist, even if economic conditions become irrelevant.
    Keywords: cultural norms, persistence, animal husbandry, illegitimacy
    JEL: Z1 A13 J12 J13 J43 N33
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Aurora Alejandra Ramirez-Alvarez (El Colegio de México)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether individuals' crime perceptions and crime avoidance behavior respond to changes in crime news coverage. I use data from Mexico, where major media groups agreed to reduce coverage of violence in March 2011. Using a unique dataset on national news content and machine learning techniques, I document that after the Agreement, crime news coverage on television, radio, and newspapers decreases relative to the national homicide rate. Using survey data, I find robust evidence that crime perceptions respond to this change in content. After the Agreement, individuals with higher media exposure are less likely to report that they feel insecure and that their country, state, or municipality is insecure, relative to individuals with lower media exposure. However, I show that these changes in crime perceptions are not accompanied by changes in crime avoidance behavior (i.e. no longer going out at night for fear of being a victim of crime), or at least that e ects are much smaller.
    Keywords: mass media; persuasion; crime perception; Mexico.
    JEL: D83 K42 L82
    Date: 2017–05
  5. By: Estelle Bellity (TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12); Fabrice Gilles (LEM - Lille - Economie et Management - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies - Université Catholique de Lille - Université de Lille, Sciences Humaines et Sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Yannick L'Horty (TEPP - Travail, Emploi et Politiques Publiques - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of encouraging students to practice literacy skills, as well as improvement in these skills, on academic performance in first-year university students. Several previous studies have attempted to understand drivers for academic success in university students. To our knowledge, none focus on directly analyzing the relations between such factors and students’ academic performance. We used a randomized experiment based on an encouragement design with a group of first-year students in Economics and Management in two French universities. For measuring the effects of encouragement, we included an innovative pedagogical tool for practicing literacy skills via a web platform, called Projet Voltaire. This tool also allowed us to get a good measure of the literacy skills of the students, both at the beginning and at the end of the first term of the academic year. During the entire semester, students had the opportunity to practice literacy skills using Projet Voltaire. To evaluate the impact of literacy on different final grades or final exam scores, and particularly on first-year grade averages, we distinguished between two randomly selected groups of students: some were encouraged to practice literacy skills, while others were only made aware of the option. As a measure of improvement in literacy skills, we use the difference between scores on the two literacy tests. Estimating intention to treat and local average treatment effect, we show that both encouragement to practice literacy skills and an improvement in literacy test scores over the first term are positively correlated with the academic performance of first-year university students, and in particular the probability that they will complete one or both semesters of the academic year.
    Keywords: orthographe, échec en licence, expérimentation
    Date: 2017–05–12

This nep-cul issue is ©2017 by Roberto Zanola. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.