nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2017‒12‒18
eight papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Patronized goods index (index of human capital formation By Рубинштейн Александр Яковлевич; Slavinskaia O.A.
  2. Efficient creativity in Mexican metropolitan areas By Benita, Francisco; Urzúa, Carlos M.
  3. Copyright in the Blockchain Era: Promises and Challenges By Alexander Savelyev
  4. Complex field-positions and non-imitation: Pioneers, strangers, and insulars in Australian fine-wine By Grégoire Croidieu; Charles-Clemens Ruling; Bilal-Ahmed Jathol
  5. Generalized Trust and Media Consumption in Democratic and Nondemocratic Societies By Olesya Volchenko; Anna Shirokanova
  6. Persuasion with Correlation Neglect: Media Power via Correlation of News Content By Inés Moreno de Barreda; Gilat Levy; Ronny Razin
  7. The Origins of Cultural Divergence: Evidence from a Developing Country By Ho, Hoang-Anh; Martinsson, Peter; Olsson, Ola
  8. Economic Origins of Cultural Norms: The Case of Animal Husbandry and Bastardy By Christoph Eder; Martin Halla

  1. By: Рубинштейн Александр Яковлевич; Slavinskaia O.A.
    Abstract: The present work is devoted to development of new index-index of patronized goods, which allows you to determine the level of development in a given time or in a region of such species of patronized goods, such as culture, science, education and health. This paper presents a formula for the determination of these indexes, as well as their informative analysis. There is a theoretical analysis of existing indices, characterizing the development of human potential. The article contains specific empirical research on the basis of which the indexes were calculated for different regions of Russia on various kinds of protected goods: culture, science, education, health care and patronized goods as a whole.
    Keywords: patronized goods, culture, science, education, health, human development
  2. By: Benita, Francisco (Singapore University of Technology and Design); Urzúa, Carlos M. (Tecnológico de Monterrey)
    Abstract: Human creativity is the most important economic resource. Yet, very few studies in the economic literature have attempted to evaluate the efficiency of creative sectors around the world. In that regard, this paper examines the efficiency of the production of creative goods in Mexico.
    Keywords: Creative industries, metropolitan areas, Mexico, DEA, 3Ts model, Malmquist productivity index
    JEL: C61 D24 O31 R12
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Alexander Savelyev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The paper focuses on various legal-related aspects of the application of blockchain technologies in the copyright sphere. Specifically, it outlines the existing challenges for distribution of copyrighted works in the digital environment, how they can be solved with blockchain, and what associated issues need to be addressed in this regard. It is argued that blockchain can introduce long–awaited transparency in matters of copyright ownership chain; substantially mitigate risks of online piracy by enabling control over digital copy and creating a civilized market for “used” digital content. It also allows to combine the simplicity of application of creative commons/open source type of licenses with revenue streams, and thus facilitate fair compensation of authors by means of cryptocurrency payments and Smart contracts. However, these benefits do not come without a price: many new issues will need to be resolved to enable the potential of blockchain technologies. Among them are: where to store copyrighted content (on blockchain or “off-chain”) and the associated need to adjust the legal status of online intermediaries; how to find a right balance between immutable nature of blockchain records and the necessity to adjust them due to the very nature of copyright law, which assigns ownership based on a set of informal facts, not visible to the public. Blockchain as a kind of time stamping service cannot itself ensure the trustworthiness of facts, which originate “off-chain”. Much work needs to be done on the legal side: special provisions aimed at facilitating user’s trust in blockchain records and their good faith usage of copyrighted works based on them need to be introduced and transactions with cryptocurrencies have to be legalized as well as the status of Smart contracts and their legal consequences. Finally, the economics of blockchain copyright management systems need to be carefully considered in order to ensure that they will have necessary network effects. If those issues are resolved in a satisfactory way, blockchain has the potential to rewrite how the copyright industry functions and digital content is distributed
    Keywords: Z
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Grégoire Croidieu (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management - Grenoble École de Management (GEM)); Charles-Clemens Ruling (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management - Grenoble École de Management (GEM), IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc); Bilal-Ahmed Jathol (GEM - Grenoble Ecole de Management - Grenoble École de Management (GEM), IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - USMB [Université de Savoie] [Université de Chambéry] - Université Savoie Mont Blanc)
    Abstract: This paper studies how complex field-positions, characterized by combinations of structural and cultural mechanisms, are associated with the non-imitation of dominant field-level practices. Theoretically, the notion of complex field-position complements prior institutional research on field-positions and non-imitation, which focuses primarily on structural mechanisms. Our empirical study looks at 62 Australian fine-wines, using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) to identify combinations of structural and cultural mechanisms associated with the non-imitation of Penfolds Grange, a role model in the Australian fine-wine field. We find three distinct complex field-positions—pioneers, strangers, and insulars— which occurred at different moments in the history of this field. We build on these findings to discuss the importance of complex field-positions as sources of positional opportunities, and their role in the development and persistence of diversity in organizational fields.
    Keywords: QCA,field-position,wine industry,Institutional theory,non-imitation
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Olesya Volchenko (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anna Shirokanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Generalized trust is an information- and risk-based resource enabling communication in modern society. Mass media channels can reduce or increase generalized trust, but their effects are dependent on the social context. The purpose of this paper is to examine how different types of media consumption are related to generalized social trust under democratic and nondemocratic regimes. In modern societies generalized trust and mass media serve as mechanisms to overcome information-based uncertainty. We propose and investigate hypotheses on how the relation between news media consumption and social trust differs in democratic and nondemocratic societies. Using multilevel regression modelling on the nationally representative World Values Survey data from more than 75,000 people in 53 countries across the world (2011-2014) and international democracy indices, we look into the interactive effects of regular use of the Internet and television news and generalized trust in democratic and nondemocratic countries. The results show that, irrelevant of the political regime, regular news consumption from television is associated with lower trust to strangers. However, using Internet news in nondemocratic countries is linked with an additional decrease in trust to strangers. We discuss how these findings run against the argument of the bridging effect of the Internet in nondemocratic countries and support the mean-world hypothesis irrelevant of the political regime
    Keywords: generalized trust, social trust, media consumption, news, Internet, television, political regime, multilevel modelling, the DD index, Freedom House status.
    JEL: Z13
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Inés Moreno de Barreda; Gilat Levy; Ronny Razin
    Abstract: Abstract We model the power of media owners to bias readers’ opinions. In particular we consider readers that have “correlation neglect†, i.e., fail to understand that content across news outlets might be correlated. We study how a media owner who controls several outlets can take advantage of the readers’ neglect. Specifically, we show that the owner can manipulate readers’ beliefs even when readers understand the informativeness of news outlet by outlet. The optimal strategy of the owner is to negatively correlate good news and positively correlate bad news. The owner’s power is increasing in the number of outlets she owns but is constrained by the limited attention of readers. Importantly, our analysis suggests several new insights about welfare in media markets. First, measures of media bias have to take into account the correlation between news outlets. Second, media-market competition curbs the ability of owners to bias readers’ beliefs. In particular, we show that readers always benefit from breaking conglomerates, even when all the new media owners share the same bias. Finally, we highlight a potential cost of media diversity. When readers have correlation neglect, diversity in the interests of owners might lower the informativeness of news content.
    Date: 2017–09–25
  7. By: Ho, Hoang-Anh (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Martinsson, Peter (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Olsson, Ola (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Cultural norms diverge substantially across societies, often even within the same country. In the present paper, we study the voluntary settlement hypothesis, proposing that individualistic people tend to self-select into migrating out of reach from collectivist states towards the periphery and that such patterns of historical migration are reflected even in the contemporary distribution of norms. During most of the first millennium CE, the modern north of Vietnam was under an exogenously imposed Chinese rule. From the eleventh to the eighteenth centuries, historical Vietnam gradually expanded its territory to the Mekong River Delta through various waves of conquest and migration. In contrast to some recent research, we find very little support from historical sources for any major discontinuities in this territorial expansion. Combining archives with household survey and lab-in-the-field experiment, we demon- strate that areas being annexed earlier into historical Vietnam are nowadays more (less) prone to collectivist (individualist) culture. We argue that the southward out-migration of individualistic people was the main mechanism behind this finding, which is also in line with many historical accounts.
    Keywords: Culture; Individualism-Collectivism; Voluntary Settlement
    JEL: N45 O53 Z13
    Date: 2017–12
  8. By: Christoph Eder; Martin Halla
    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: 2017–12

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