nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒02‒19
two papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Effects of Copyrights on Science - Evidence from the US Book Republication Program By Biasi, Barbara; Moser, Petra
  2. The economics of social media stars: An empirical investigation of stardom, popularity, and success on YouTube By Budzinski, Oliver; Gaenssle, Sophia

  1. By: Biasi, Barbara; Moser, Petra
    Abstract: Copyrights for books, news, and other types of media are a critical mechanism to encourage creativity and innovation. Yet economic analyses continue to be rare, partly due to a lack of experimental variation in modern copyright laws. This paper exploits a change in copyright laws as a result of World War II to examine the effects of copyrights on science. In 1943, the US Book Republication Program (BRP) granted US publishers temporary licenses to republish the exact content of German-owned science books. Using new data on citations, we find that this program triggered a large increase in citations to German-owned science books. This increase was driven by a significant reduction in access costs: Each 10 percent decline in the price of BRP book was associated with a 43 percent increase in citations. To investigate the mechanism by which lower book prices influence science, we collect data on library holdings across the United States. We find that lower prices helped to distribute BRP books across US libraries, including less affluent institutions. Analyses of the locations of citing authors further indicate that citations increased most for locations that gained access to BRP books. Results are confirmed by two alternative measures of scientific output: new PhDs and US patents that use knowledge in BRP books.
    Keywords: Copyright; media; Science; World War II
    JEL: L82 N42 O34
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Budzinski, Oliver; Gaenssle, Sophia
    Abstract: The economic literature on the superstar phenomenon provides empirical evidence on different types of stars, above all athletes and musicians. A new and, to our best knowledge, unexplored area of this star theory arouse with the development of social media markets. In this paper, we analyse a unique sample of 200 YouTube stars out of four different video categories to address the research gap. By employing econometric methods from panel data analysis, we contribute to answering the following research questions: (i) Are the classic theoretical concepts of popularity and superstardom by Rosen, MacDonald and Adler applicable? (ii) Can social media stars actively influence their popularity by employing special upload strategies? We find empirical evidence that former success positively and significantly influences the current success of social media stars, as theoretically presumed by MacDonald. Furthermore, the results support Adler's assumptions that the most popular stars snowball into superstardom due to higher growth rates. Finally, our investigation shows that social media stars can actively influence their popularity with distinctive upload strategies and market behaviour.
    Keywords: social media,digital media,popularity,superstar theory,cultural economics,media economics
    JEL: L82 Z10 D31 D83
    Date: 2018

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