nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒04‒30
five papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The business of video games is a multi-player game : Essays on governance choices and performance in a two-sided market in the cultural industries By Peters, Frank
  2. Cultural Change and the Migration Choice By Lanati, Mauro; Venturini, Alessandra
  3. Relatedness and growth: The impact of creative industries to the wider economy By Niccolò Innocenti; Luciana Lazzeretti
  4. Media attention and crude oil volatility: Is there any 'new' news in the newspaper? By D Aromi; A Clements
  5. Library - a Place for Connected Learning and Coworking By Suvi Nenonen; Ruud van Wezel; Evita Berkouwer

  1. By: Peters, Frank
    Abstract: Resume "The business or video game is a multi-player game" investigates the economic impact of collaboration in a two-sided platform market in the cultural industries. The dissertation attempts to find explanations for success in the cultural industries and (in particular) the consequences of cooperation with the platform provider. This is done by means of a quantitative study of games from the time that distribution took place by means of DVDs: the period 2001-2010. This is the first time that an integrated model for success in the video game industry has been developed. Markets are increasingly becoming dominated by platforms: accommodation is booked via, music via Spotify, video via Netflix, information via Google and second-hand products via E-Bay. In the video game industry, it is the console that brings buyers and suppliers together. In such a market structure the behavior of the platform influences the results of the provider of video games and vice versa. The results of this research are therefore interesting not only for video game industry but also for other platform markets in the cultural industries. The cultural industry consists of the industries in which mass-production of cultural goods takes place. The film, music, TV and radio, fashion and game industry are examples. These industries have the following characteristics: - Extreme economies-of-scale: Production of the first copy is very expensive, reproduction is almost free; - An oversupply of creative work: production often takes place as a passion and leisure activity; - Presence of the "nobody knows" principle: Success cannot be predicted in advance, nor can it be explained retrospectively. Products are extremely divided into hits and misses so that only a small part of the offer is profitable. Conclusions: - The success of a game depends on the activities of different actors: the game development studio, the publisher, and the console manufacturer. In that sense, game business is a multi-player game; - Although the "nobody knows" principle is present, there are factors that increase the chances of success: building on success from the past and larger production budgets lead to better games, which in turn sell better. Pre-release marketing (finding market segments where competition is limited and timing of the release) also leads to more successful games. This is more important than post-release marketing. - There are cross-platform effects: games released for multiple platforms also score better on the individual platforms. - Production of games based on success from other sectors (e.g., a game in a movie) is not a successful strategy. - Platforms are often very dominant in the market. Cooperation with a platform operator (through the sale of the studio or the conclusion of exclusive contracts) has a positive result on the revenue of a game, cooperation with an independent publisher does not have this. Platforms are a necessary evil that can be better embraced: cooperation leads to more successful releases. The dissertation enriches management theory in the outlined context. It is concluded that: - Considerations for different forms of cooperation differ: for mergers transaction cost considerations, for exclusive contracts increasing opportunities for the future. - Platform operators have different motives for working with studios than independent publishers. In particular, platform operators mainly want to retain high-quality capabilities, independent publishers are looking for future differentiation options in particular. Samenvatting “The business of video game is a multi-player game” onderzoekt de economische effecten van sa-menwerking in een tweezijdige platformmarkt in de cultural industries. In het proefschrift wordt getracht verklaringen te vinden voor succes in de culturele industrie en (met name) de gevolgen van samenwerking met de platformaanbieder in kaart gebracht. Dit gebeurt door middel van een kwanti-tatief onderzoek van games uit de tijd dat distributie nog plaats vond door middel van DVD’s: de periode 2001-2010. Dit is de eerste keer dat er een integraal model voor succes in de videogame industrie is ontwikkeld. Het economisch verkeer verloopt in toenemende mate via platforms: accommodatie wordt geboekt via, muziek via Spotify, video via Netflix, informatie via Google en tweedehands pro-ducten via Marktplaats. In de videogame industrie is het de console die vragers en aanbieders van games bij elkaar brengt. In zo’n marktstructuur beïnvloedt het gedrag van het platform de resultaten van de aanbieder van video games en andersom. Uitkomsten van het onderzoek zijn daarom niet alleen voor video game industrie interessant, maar ook voor andere platformmarkten in de cultural industries. De culturele industrie bestaat uit de bedrijfstakken waarin culturele goederen in massa worden ge-produceerd. De film-, muziek-, TV en radio-, mode- en game industrie zijn voorbeelden. Deze be-drijfstakken hebben de volgende kenmerken: - Zeer sterke economies-of-scale: Productie van het eerste exemplaar is zeer kostbaar, reproductie is bijna gratis; - Een overaanbod van creatief werk: productie vindt vaak plaats als passie en vrijetijdsbesteding; - Aanwezigheid van het “nobody knows”-principe: Succes is niet vooraf te voorspellen, noch achteraf te verklaren. Producten zijn extreem verdeeld in hits en missers, waardoor slechts een klein deel van het aanbod rendabel is. Conclusies: - Het succes van een game is afhankelijk van de activiteiten van verschillende actoren: de game ont-wikkelstudio, de uitgever en de console fabrikant. In die zin is game business een multi-player ga-me; - Hoewel het “nobody knows” principe aanwezig is, zijn er factoren die de kans op succes vergroten: voortbouwen op succes uit het verleden en grotere productiebudgetten leiden tot betere games, die op hun beurt beter verkopen. Pre-release marketing (het opsporen van marktsegmenten waar de concurrentie beperkt is en timing van de release) leidt eveneens tot succesvollere games. Dit is be-langrijker dan post-release marketing. - Er zijn cross-platform effecten: games uitgebracht voor meerdere platforms scoren ook beter op de individuele platforms. - Productie van games gebaseerd op succes uit andere sectoren (bijvoorbeeld een game bij een film) is geen succesvolle strategie. - Platforms zijn vaak zeer dominant in de markt. Samenwerking met een platformexploitant (door verkoop van de studio of het afsluiten van exclusieve contracten) heeft een positief resultaat op de opbrengsten van een game, samenwerken met een onafhankelijke uitgever heeft dit niet. Platforms zijn een noodzakelijk kwaad dat beter omarmt kan worden: samenwerking leidt tot succesvollere releases. Het proefschrift verrijkt de managementtheorie in de geschetste context. Er wordt geconcludeerd dat: - Overwegingen voor verschillende vormen van samenwerking verschillen: voor overnames trans-actiekostenoverwegingen, voor exclusieve contracten het vergroten van mogelijkheden voor de toe-komst. - Platform exploitanten hebben andere motieven om samen te werken met studio’s dan onafhanke-lijke uitgeverijen. Platform exploitanten willen met name kwalitatief hoogwaardige capaciteit aan zich binden, onafhankelijke uitgevers zoeken met name toekomstige differentiatiemogelijkheden.
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Lanati, Mauro (European University Institute); Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Cultural differences play an important role in shaping migration patterns. The conventional proxies for cross country cultural differences – such as common language, ethnicity, genetic traits or religion – implicitly assume that cultural proximity between two countries is constant over time and symmetric, which is far from realistic. This paper proposes a tractable model for international migration which explicitly allows for the time varying and asymmetric dimensions of cultural proximity. Similarly to Disdier et al (2010) we assume that the evolution of bilateral cultural affinity over time is reflected in the intensity of bilateral trade in cultural goods. Our empirical framework includes a comprehensive set of high dimensional fixed effects which enables for the identification of the impact of cultural proximity on migration over and beyond the effect of pre-existing cultural and historical ties. The results are robust across different econometric techniques and suggest that positive changes in cultural relationships over time foster bilateral migration.
    Keywords: migration, trade in cultural goods, gravity model
    JEL: F16 F22 Z10
    Date: 2018–03
  3. By: Niccolò Innocenti; Luciana Lazzeretti
    Abstract: The role of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) in fostering both innovation and growth in the wider economy has been much debated, beginning with Bakhshi et al.'s (2008) seminal contribution. Such studies of creative environments tend to assign a strategic role to territories, but they provide little empirical evidence. In this paper, the issues of the creative economy are combined with evolutionary economic geography (EEG) topics in an attempt to understand whether the CCIs are able to foster innovation and growth in the wider economy. Using an indicator of the relatedness density between the creative and other sectors for the Italian provinces, we analyse employment growth and innovation over a period of ten years (2006?2015) by drawing from the AMADEUS database. A panel data analysis is then applied to investigate the role of relatedness and the clustering of the creative industries in wider economic growth, which shows that, at a local level, the creative industries require the presence of other sectors with a high degree of cognitive proximity/relatedness, while the capacity for development and innovation does not merely depend on their presence, but also on their relations and interdependencies with other economic sectors.
    Keywords: creative industries; employment growth; innovation; cognitive proximity; industry space
    JEL: R11 O10
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: D Aromi; A Clements
    Abstract: In recent years there has been a growing interest in the analysis of large volumes of unscheduled news flow. Such news flow has often been used as an exogenous variable for explaining asset returns and or volatility. This paper examines the dynamic relationship between news flow and asset price dynamics from a different perspective. A novel index of media attention is proposed, and in the context of the crude oil market the linkages between media attention and returns and volatility are examined. It is found that media attention reacts strongly to shocks to volatility whereas there is little impact in the opposite direction. As such media attention seems to inherit the persistence in volatility but offers only a little more in terms of information relevant to future volatility. Therefore media attention does not offer a great deal of new news useful for explaining volatility.
    Keywords: News, media, linguistic analysis, volatility, crude oil
    JEL: C22 G00
    Date: 2018–03–20
  5. By: Suvi Nenonen; Ruud van Wezel; Evita Berkouwer
    Abstract: Throughout time, cities have been places where different types of social and cultural changes evolve. In terms of learning urban places for meeting, interacting and connected learning with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures and areas of expertise are highly significant in the knowledge economy of our 21st century. Additionally, the future of work and place is a shift towards an urban scale (Laing 2013). Coworking spaces are an example of the novel use of urban spaces that at best can support the revitalisation of city districts. Coworking spaces are places where self-employed persons engaged in creative and information-intensive fields can rent or use a shared workspace together with others who share the same values.The goal of this research is to understand how the library can response to the requirements of connected learning and coworking. The transformation of libraries from the brick-and-mortar public library to the digital library include also the enhancement of libraries as environments for coworking and informal social learning. Libraries can response to a nomadic way of working by supporting individual users with a choice of places and settings in which interactive and solo work can happen.This research presents the best practices of libraries as hubs that attract and support interest-driven and socially embedded learning and co-working experiences. It is providing perspectives to the actual definition of a library, which states that library is a collection of resources in a variety of formats that is (1) organized by information professionals or other experts who (2) provide convenient physical, digital, bibliographic, or intellectual access and (3) offer targeted services and programs (4) with the mission of educating, informing, or entertaining a variety of audiences (5) and the goal of stimulating individual learning and advancing society as a whole. We propose that the human resources of connected learners and co-workers might be one of the very important element of the library of future.The paper reports findings from observations as well as interviews with users and managers of different types of local, community-led libraries from Finland and The Netherlands. The findings reveal social, spatial and technological interventions that these spaces apply to nourish a culture of connected learning and coworking. The discussion suggests a set a framework to profile transformation of future libraries. The framework provides
    Keywords: Coworking; Learning; Library; Profile; Urban Development
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01

This nep-cul issue is ©2018 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.
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