nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2020‒05‒11
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Effects of piracy on the American comic book market and the role of digital formats By Wojciech Hardy
  2. Can the law fix the problems of fashion? An empirical study on social norms and imbalance of power in the fashion industry By Noto La Diega, Guido
  3. Cultural Gender Norms and Neighbourhood Exposure: Impacts on the Gender Gap in Math By Ericsson, Sanna
  4. India's search for link language and progress towards bilingualism By Leena Bhattacharya; S. Chandrasekhar

  1. By: Wojciech Hardy
    Abstract: Much like the music and movie industries before, the comic book industry has entered the digital markets and faces the unfair competition of unauthorized sources. I conduct a survey among comic book readers to infer whether the unpaid channels harm the sales of comic books from the top American publishers. My data allows me to construct a time panel of comics readers and calculate the substitution rate between the paid and unpaid channels of comics acquisition. Moreover, I show that the digital comics – both paid and unpaid – are typically considered as inferior by the readers. With the price of digitally released new comics set at the same level as their print versions, this suggests that readers who do not want to pay the full price for print copies are more likely to use pirate sources than to switch to legal digital channels. Indeed, among the surveyed sample, lowering the price of digital comics could help convert some of the unpaid acquisitions into paid digital ones.
    Keywords: comic books, media, digital formats, piracy, file-sharing
    JEL: C83 K42 O34 Z11
    Date: 2020–03
  2. By: Noto La Diega, Guido (University of Stirling)
    Abstract: The fashion industry is affected by an imbalance of power that goes beyond the outsourcing of part of the manufacture to developing countries. Said imbalance characterises the whole supply chain and hinders freedom of expression, freedom to conduct business and, hence, creativity and innovation. In order to understand fashion, IP lawyers and lawmakers need to take into account that the law is not the main device the regulating the relevant relationships. Indeed, fashion is a closed community, a family where complaining is rather frowned upon and where contracts do not reflect the actual relationships between the parties. In order to rebalance power, this article explores the possibility to treat good faith and inequality of bargaining power as unifying principles of contract law. However, in light of the evidence collected during a number of in-depth interviews with fashion stakeholders, it seems clear that social norms are the main source of regulation of relationships and, therefore, intervening at the level of the contracts may not be helpful. Competition law, in turn, may be of more help in rebalancing power; however, cases such as Coty v Parfümerie Akzente do not augur well. Moreover, competition law is useful when the relationship is over, but it is in all the stakeholders’ interest to keep the relationship alive while fixing its imbalance. This study confirms recent findings that social norms do not only have a positive impact on fields with low IP-equilibrium and it sheds light on the broader consequences of the reliance on social norms and on its relationship to power imbalance. This work makes a twofold recommendation. First, IP lawyers should engage more with the unfamiliar field of social norms. Second, advocates of a reform of IP aimed at transforming the industry in an IP-intensive one should be mindful that the effort may prove useless, in light of the role of social norms, especially if power is not distributed.
    Date: 2018–07–26
  3. By: Ericsson, Sanna (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the interaction between cultural norms and neighbourhood characteristics. I estimate the effect of cultural gender norms on the gender gap in math, and explore whether this effect is mitigated by municipality gender equality. I use high-quality Swedish administrative data on the results of national standardised math tests. To separate the effect of cultural gender norms from formal institutions, I estimate the effect of mothers' source-country gender norms on the gender gap in math for second-generation immigrants. By contrasting the outcomes of opposite-sex siblings, I show that the sibling gender gap in math increases with mothers' adherence to traditional gender norms; such that girls with more gender-traditional mothers perform worse relative to their brothers. To investigate whether the cultural gender norm effect can be mitigated by municipality gender equality, I exploit a refugee placement policy to obtain random variation in municipality characteristics. I show that municipality gender equality can almost completely mitigate the negative cultural norm effect. Taken together, my results imply that while cultural gender norms play an important role for the gender gap in math, they are not immune to the effects of neighbourhood exposure.
    Keywords: cultural gender norms; math gender gap; epidemiological approach; refugee placement policy; sibling fixed effects
    JEL: I21 I24 J15 J16 Z13
    Date: 2020–04–15
  4. By: Leena Bhattacharya (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research); S. Chandrasekhar (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: The three language formula (3LF) is viewed as an instrument for achieving the objective of a multilingual India. Possibly on account of lack of agreement on 3LF and politics of medium of instruction, the pace of transition towards bilingualism is glacial. This paper is a quantitative assessment of this transition. We analyse data from Census of India Language Tables for the years 1971, 2001 and 2011 and two recent NSSO surveys on education. We present estimates of probability of two individuals drawn at random being able to converse in a common language and the extent to which today's school going children and the youth are likely to be bilingual respectively.
    Keywords: Bilingual, Trilingual, Link Language, India, Three Language Formula
    JEL: Z1 Z13
    Date: 2020–04

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