nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2020‒07‒13
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Jane Beats Them All: Price Formation and Financial Returns to Investing in Rare Books By Heinrich Ursprung
  2. Copyright and Creativity. Evidence from Italian Opera During the Napoleonic Age By Giorcelli, Michela; Moser, Petra
  3. Media Competition and News Diets By Angelucci, Charles; Cagé, Julia; Sinkinson, Michael
  4. Professional Rugby on the Celtic Fringe By Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan; Patrick Massey

  1. By: Heinrich Ursprung
    Abstract: I report historical prices and estimate financial returns to investing in rare books. My sample consists of 25 fiction titles recommended by Clifton Fadiman in his 1960 Lifetime Reading Plan. Relying on prices realized at American and British auction houses between 1975 and 2018, I use hedonic regressions to estimate the average rate of return to each of the 25 titles. Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice tops the returns to all other titles. I then construct for the entire sample of rare books price indices based on various specifications with a view to identifying the most efficient way of computing rare book price indices for larger samples of books. Estimating the financial return to investing in rare books in general, I arrive for the boom period 1975-2007 at a real rate of return of about 4.6%, which exceeds similar estimates for investing in fine art. In a comparison with the returns in 1975-2007 of almost 9% from the US stock market, investing in rare books is justified only by substantial nonpecuniary returns.
    Keywords: are books, price indices, investment in collectibles, cultural economics
    JEL: G11 Z11
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Giorcelli, Michela; Moser, Petra
    Abstract: This paper exploits exogenous variation in the adoption of copyrights â?? as a result of the timing of Napoléon's military victories in Italy â?? to examine the effects of copyrights on creativity. To measure changes in creative output we compare changes in the creation of new operas across states with and without copyrights. Difference-in-differences analyses show that basic copyrights increased both the number and the quality of operas, measured by their popularity and durability. Notably, there is no evidence of comparable benefits for extensions in copyright lengths. Complementary analyses for other types of musical compositions confirm the main results.
    Keywords: code civil; Copyright; Creativity; institutions; Intellectual Property; Napoleon; opera
    Date: 2020–03
  3. By: Angelucci, Charles; Cagé, Julia; Sinkinson, Michael
    Abstract: News media operate in two-sided markets, offering bundles of content to readers as well as selling readers' attention to advertisers. Technological innovations in content delivery, such as the advent of broadcast television or of the Internet, affect both sides of the market, threatening the basic economic model of print news operations. We examine how the entry of television affected local newspapers as well as consumer media diets in the United States. We develop a model of print media and show that entry of national television news could adversely affect the provision of local news. We construct a novel dataset of U.S. newspapers' economic performance and content choices from 1944 to 1964. Our empirical strategy exploits quasi-random variation in the timing of the entry of television in different markets. We show that the entry of television was a negative shock for newspapers, particularly evening newspapers, in both the readership and advertising markets. Further, we find a drop in the total quantity of news printed, in particular original reporting, raising concerns about the provision of local news.
    Keywords: advertising; Bundling; Local News; media; newspapers; Television; two-sided markets
    JEL: D4 L11 L15 M37 N72
    Date: 2020–03
  4. By: Vincent (Vincent Peter) Hogan; Patrick Massey
    Abstract: The design of sports leagues has significant financial implications for the organisers and member teams and for the relative success or failure of the individual clubs. Using the Pro 14 rugby league as an example we show how the structure of the league has influenced the success of the league overall and that of individual teams. We use variation in rules across time and space to identify their effects. We show how match attendance has been boosted by measures such as reducing the number of Sunday matches and the introduction of play-offs. We also show that the Pro14 have increased broadcast revenue largely through geographic expansion into larger broadcast markets. Furthermore, this has occurred without an adverse effect on match attendance.
    Keywords: Sports finance; Productivity
    JEL: Z23 D24
    Date: 2020–01

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