nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒10‒15
six papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Is gender in the eye of the beholder? Identifying cultural attitudes with art auction prices By Adams, Renée; Kräussl, Roman; Navone, Marco; Verwijmeren, Patrick
  2. Blockchain, fractional ownership, and the future of creative work By Whitaker, Amy; Kräussl, Roman
  3. The archive as a cognitive artefact. An analysis of the complex relationship between culture and business By Monica Calcagno; Isabella Collavizza
  4. One Hundred Years of Solitude Bestsellers in the United States, 1900-1999 By Cédric Ceulemans; Victor Ginsburgh; Juan Prieto-Rodríguez; Sheila Weyers
  5. The impact of historic preservation policies on housing values: a case study in Norway By Ida Qvenild Nesset; Are Oust
  6. Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five By James J. Heckman; Sidharth Moktan

  1. By: Adams, Renée; Kräussl, Roman; Navone, Marco; Verwijmeren, Patrick
    Abstract: In the secondary art market, artists play no active role. This allows us to isolate cultural influences on the demand for female artists' work from supply-side factors. Using 1.5 million auction transactions in 45 countries, we document a 47.6% gender discount in auction prices for paintings. The discount is higher in countries with greater gender inequality. In experiments, participants are unable to guess the gender of an artist simply by looking at a painting and they vary in their preferences for paintings associated with female artists. Women's art appears to sell for less because it is made by women.
    Keywords: Art,Auction,Gender,Culture,Bias
    JEL: Z11 J16 D44
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Whitaker, Amy; Kräussl, Roman
    Abstract: While record-making prices at art auctions receive headline news coverage, artists typically do not receive any direct proceeds from those sales. Early-stage creative work in any field is perennially difficult to value, but the valuation, reward, and incentivization for artistic labor are particularly fraught. A core challenge in studying the real return on artists' work is the extreme difficulty accessing data from when an artwork was first sold. Galleries keep private records that are difficult to access and to match to public auction results. This paper, for the first time, uses archivally sourced primary market records, for the artists Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg. Although this approach restricts the size of the data set, this innovative method shows much more accurate returns on art than typical regression and hedonic models. We find that if Johns and Rauschenberg had retained 10% equity in their work when it was first sold, the returns to them when the work was resold at auction would have outperformed the US S&P 500 by between 2 and 986 times. The implication of this work opens up vast policy recommendations with regard to secondary art market sales, entrepreneurial strategies using blockchain technology, and implications about how we compensate creative work.
    Keywords: value creation,art market,property rights,blockchain,venture funding
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Monica Calcagno (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice); Isabella Collavizza (Dept. of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venice)
    Abstract: The research work aims at investigating the company archive phenomenon by considering its original cultural dimension and analysing it through a parallel empiric research carried out in two different contexts: in a manufacturing design company and in a cultural institution. In both cases, the archive is an “in fieri” project. In the first case, it is the desired tool to boost the brand communication, while it will end in identifying the absence of a coherent product strategy. In the second case, it is conceived as a process of revision of the existent archive, meant to re-organise the cultural asset of the foundation in a period of change and new acquisitions, and it will become the opportunity to revise the relationship between temporary exhibitions and permanent collection. The present work then aims at analysing the complexity of the process of archive construction and interpretation, and adopts a perspective which is intrinsically interdisciplinary, both because of the researchers involved and because of the process of investigation which is based on a qualitative work of analysis where all the documentation are analysed in parallel and adopting different perspectives, in order to make sense of the archive safeguarding its complexity.
    Keywords: archives, exhibitions, museums, identity, quality.
    Date: 2018–10
  4. By: Cédric Ceulemans; Victor Ginsburgh; Juan Prieto-Rodríguez; Sheila Weyers
    Abstract: We study the fiction publishing sector using the top ten annual best-sold novels in the United States during the whole 20th century. We show that there is inequality in genders (especially between 1950 and 1980), and large differences in age for first and last book by bestselling authors. We also report on the number of times each writer is listed among the top ten, and find that during the 20 last years of the century, it became much more difficult for new writers to enter the list. Though we cannot show that this is caused by the very important concentration of publishers, the two phenomena are obviously correlated. We discuss at some length the reasons for which female authors almost disappeared as bestsellers after 1950, and make an incursion into the quality of bestsellers, using as measure the number of authors who were also given important literary awards.
    Keywords: superstar effect, winner-takes-all effect, bestseller books
    Date: 2018–10
  5. By: Ida Qvenild Nesset; Are Oust
    Abstract: Dwellings of historic value offer qualities that benefits the owner or user, or the society in general. Historic preservation involve use of different policies including push and pull strategies to help protect and manage historic valuable dwellings for present and future generations. The majority of previous studies aiming to assess the impact of historic preservation on housing values employ hedonic pricing models to control for the heterogeneous nature of dwellings. These studies show deviant results and cannot, however conclude whether the observed historic preservation premium are due to a policy effect because it is likely to include a heritage effect due to unobserved characteristics that got the dwelling historic preserved in the first place. This study expands upon previous studies by introducing a unique dataset, which combines data of historic preserved dwellings in Oslo, Norway, and data from the housing market from 1990 to 2017, allowing us to study sales prices for the same dwellings both before and after the action of historic preservation. We further address the omitted variable bias by estimating a two-way fixed effects model including a differences-in-differences estimator. Our results suggest a policy premium of about 4%. Moreover, results suggest that the dwellings subject to the strictest policy hold a lower policy premium than the dwellings subject to the less strict policy, what implies quite clear policy recommendations.
    Keywords: differences-in-differences; fixed effects; Historic Preservation Policies; housing values
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2018–01–01
  6. By: James J. Heckman (The University of Chicago); Sidharth Moktan (Center for the Economics of Human Development, University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between placement of publications in Top Five (T5) journals and receipt of tenure in academic economics departments. Analyzing the job histories of tenure-track economists hired by the top 35 U.S. economics departments, we find that T5 publications have a powerful influence on tenure decisions and rates of transition to tenure. A survey of the perceptions of young economists supports the formal statistical analysis. Pursuit of T5 publications has become the obsession of the next generation of economists. However, the T5 screen is far from reliable. A substantial share of influential publications appear in non-T5 outlets. Reliance on the T5 to screen talent incentivizes careerism over creativity.
    Keywords: tenure and promotion practices, career concerns, economics publishing, citations
    JEL: A14 I23 J44 O31
    Date: 2018–09

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