nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒08‒13
five papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Somatic Distance, Cultural Affinities, Trust And Trade By Jacques Melitz; Farid Toubal
  2. A Cautionary Tale of Evaluating Identifying Assumptions: Did Reality TV Really Cause a Decline in Teenage Childbearing? By David A. Jaeger; Theodore J. Joyce; Robert Kaestner
  3. Testing the universalism of Bourdieu's homology: Structuring patterns of lifestyle across 26 countries By Modesto Gayo; Dominique Joye; Yannick Lemel
  4. Liberalizing Art: Evidence on the Impressionists at the end of the Paris Salon By Federico, Etro; Silvia, Marchesi; Elena, Stepanova;
  5. Immigrant Artists: Enrichment or Displacement? By Karol Jan Borowiecki; Kathryn Graddy

  1. By: Jacques Melitz (CREST; ENSAE; CEPII); Farid Toubal (CREST; ENS de Paris-Saclay; CEPII)
    Abstract: Somatic distance, or differences in physical appearance, proves to be extremely important in the gravity model of bilateral trade in conformity with results in other areas of economics and outside of it in the social sciences. This is also true quite independently of survey evidence about bilateral trust. These findings are obtained in a sample of the 15 members of the European Economic Association in 1996. Robustness tests also show that somatic distance has a more reliable influence on bilateral trade than the other cultural variables. The article finally discusses the interpretation and the breadth of application of these results.
    Keywords: Somatic distance, Cultural interactions, Trust, Language, Bilateral Trade
    JEL: F10 F40 Z10
    Date: 2018–04–01
  2. By: David A. Jaeger; Theodore J. Joyce; Robert Kaestner
    Abstract: Evaluating policy changes that occur everywhere at the same time is difficult because of the lack of a clear counterfactual. Hoping to address this problem, researchers often proxy for differential exposure using some observed characteristic in the pre-treatment period. As a cautionary tale of how difficult identification is in such settings, we re-examine the results of an influential paper by Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine, who found that the MTV program 16 and Pregnant had a substantial impact on teen birth rates. In what amounts to a difference-in-differences approach, they use the pre-treatment levels of MTV viewership across media markets as an instrument. We show that controlling for differential time trends in birth rates by a market’s pre-treatment racial/ethnic composition or unemployment rate causes Kearney and Levine’s results to disappear, invalidating the parallel trends assumption necessary for a causal interpretation. Extending the pre-treatment period and estimating placebo tests, we find evidence of an “effect” long before 16 and Pregnant started broadcasting. Our results highlight the difficulty of drawing causal inferences from national point-in-time policy changes. This paper was motivated by an earlier NBER working paper . The authors of that paper have posted a response to this paper . Another NBER working paper addresses issues in both of these papers.
    JEL: J13 L82
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Modesto Gayo (Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Sociales (ICSO); Facultad de Ciencias Sociales e Historia; Universidad Diego Portales (UDP)); Dominique Joye (Institut des sciences sociales; Faculté des sciences sociales et politiques; Université de Lausanne); Yannick Lemel (CREST; GEMASS, Université Paris IV-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: The homology idea contends that a very close relationship takes place between social positions (economic and cultural capital) and cultural practices. This idea is at the center of Pierre Bourdieu’s work La Distinction (1984[1979]) and the subsequent studies in the sociology of culture that considered this book a necessary landmark. In this paper, we use data from the International Social Survey Programme for comparing 26 countries from different geographical and cultural areas, in order to assess the homology thesis’ applicability with a large set of very different countries. Using canonical correlation analysis, our results underline how structurally similar are the wide set of countries analysed. On the one hand, we found an analogous hierarchy of activities and social positions or capitals. On the other hand, the level of association between the factorial axis defined on cultural activities and those axis calculated using capitals are also very similar.
    Date: 2018–04–03
  4. By: Federico, Etro; Silvia, Marchesi; Elena, Stepanova;
    Abstract: We analyze the Paris art market between the government-controlled Salon as a centralized organization of art exhibition and the system liberalized by the Republican government based on competition between independent exhibitions. The jury of the old Salon decided on submissions with a bias toward conservative art of the academic insiders, reducing demand for the outsiders, as confirmed by the impact on prices of the acceptance of Impressionists. With a difference-in difference estimation we provide evidence that the end of the government-controlled Salon in 1880 started the increase of the prices of the Impressionists relative to the insiders.
    Keywords: Art market, Market structure, Insider-Outsider, Hedonic regressions, Impressionism
    JEL: C23 Z11
    Date: 2018–08–09
  5. By: Karol Jan Borowiecki (University of Southern Denmark); Kathryn Graddy (Brandeis University)
    Abstract: In order to investigate the role of immigrant artists on the development of artistic clusters in U.S. cities, we use the US Census and American Community Survey, collected every 10 years since 1850. We identify artists and art teachers, authors, musicians and music teachers, actors and actresses, architects, and journalists, their geographical location and their status as a native or an immigrant. We look at the relative growth rate of the immigrant population in these occupations over a ten year period and how it affects the relative growth rate of native-born individuals in these artistic occupations. We find that cities that experienced immigrant artistic inflows also see a greater inflow of native artists.
    Date: 2018–07

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