nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2020‒09‒14
five papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Status Signalling with Luxury and Cultural Goods By Lu, Siting
  2. Migration and Cultural Change By Hillel Rapoport; Sulin Sardoschau; Arthur Silve
  3. An Aesthetic Analysis of Architecture and Wood Carvings: Mirkula Devi Temple, Himachal Pradesh, India By Shuchita Sharma
  4. Television and the Labour Supply: Evidence from the Digital Television Transition in the UK By Nieto Castro Adrian
  5. Aspects of the Bible's Philosophy on the Development of the World's Civilizations By Ioan-Gheorghe Rotaru

  1. By: Lu, Siting
    Abstract: As the world shifts towards greater consumerism, there is an increasing tendency for individuals to distinguish themselves from the others through the goods that they purchase – which assert the society of their taste and implicit social status. While the pursuit of social status has been well-explored, most studies in this area tend to focus on luxury consumption, limited research investigated the inclusion of cultural goods (books, etiquette classes, etc.) as another signaling tool. The main objective of the paper, therefore, seeks to understand and provide a theoretical grounding for individuals’ choices between the status goods, and its implications for policy formulations and social mobility. The choice to signal status by purchasing either one of the goods is evaluated under two scenarios: when wage-enhancing benefits of cultural goods are not revealed and when they are. Individuals are found to always prefer luxury goods in the first instance, but upon satisfying certain conditions, there is possibility of those endowed with high cultural and social capital to consume cultural goods instead of luxury goods under the second scenario. Given equilibrium choices, the paper proposes policy measures for welfare-maximizing social planner to drive greater consumption of cultural goods, which also has positive impact on intergenerational mobility. While the paper attempts to illustrate the choices made under more realistic settings by relaxing a few assumptions, it mainly serves to lay the groundwork for the incorporation of cultural goods in future analysis of social status signalling.
    Keywords: Social Status, Signalling, Conspicuous Consumption, Inconspicuous Consumption, Cultural Goods
    JEL: C70 D11
    Date: 2020–08–21
  2. By: Hillel Rapoport; Sulin Sardoschau; Arthur Silve
    Abstract: We examine both theoretically and empirically how migration affects cultural change in home and host countries. Our theoretical model integrates various compositional and cultural transmission mechanisms of migration-based cultural change for which it delivers distinctive testable predictions on the sign and direction of convergence. We then use the World Value Survey for the period 1981-2014 to build time-varying measures of cultural similarity for a large number of country pairs and exploit within country-pair variation over time. Our evidence is inconsistent with the view that immigrants are a threat to the host country’s culture. While migrants do act as vectors of cultural diffusion and bring about cultural convergence, this is mostly to disseminate cultural values and norms from host to home countries (i.e., cultural remittances).
    Keywords: Migration;Cultural Change;Globalization
    JEL: F22 O15 Z10
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Shuchita Sharma (Central University of Higher Tibetan Studies, India)
    Abstract: Himalayas known as abode of snow is not only a geographical feature for India rather it is abode of gods, and entrusted India a unique cultural and aesthetic dynamism. Sumptuous in forest and cultural heritage, the western part of Himalayas forming modern Himachal Pradesh preserves a rich tradition of woodcarving since hoary past. There are age-old temples made in cedar wood, which still exist in the valley of river Spiti presenting marvels of woodcarving in classical sophisticated style patronized by the royalty and other side indigenous style of native people. Thus, the said valley presents a wide range of artistic woodcarvings and a legacy of unique traditional building practice known as kath-khuni construction. Now, in recent years’ modernization and developmental programme besides linking remote parts of Himachal to the main stream of Indian national development has threatened the traditional arts and heritage. This study mainly confines to the wooden temple of Mirkula Devi survived in the region of Spiti valley. The study presents holistic aesthetic view on the classical and indigenous Architecture known as Kath-Kuni and woodcarvings. There has hardly been any in depth study on folk and aboriginal art in the said area. Therefore, data collection and photographic documentation fully depended on extensive fieldwork. This became only possible with the help of local people and civil authorities in concerned region.
    Keywords: Himalayan architecture, Temple architecture, Spiti Valley, wood carvings
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Nieto Castro Adrian
    Abstract: This paper exploits exogenous variation in the date of transition from analogue to digital television signal in the UK across more than 40,000 geographical units to investigate the causal impact of television on employment probabilities and potential mechanisms. Using a large individual panel survey dataset and a difference-in-differences model that compares the outcomes of adults living in regions where the switchover occurred in different years, I find that the digital transition increases employment probabilities. The impact is driven by mothers and is due to an increase in part-time and self-employment. The effect increases with the number of children in a household and when the parent does not cohabit with a partner. A possible explanation for these results is that television keeps children busy, reducing the amount of housework that parents need to do and allowing them to focus on their careers. I test whether the digital transition reduces the time that individuals dedicate to housework and show that this is the case for mothers but not for fathers and non-parents. I find no effect on time allocation other than via housework.
    Keywords: labour supply; housework; leisure; gender equality; digital transition; television
    JEL: J01 J16 J22
    Date: 2020–04
  5. By: Ioan-Gheorghe Rotaru (Timotheus Brethren Theological Institute of Bucharest, Romania)
    Abstract: It is worth noting how a secular perspective can be harmonized with what the Holy Scriptures present and especially how the text of the Scripture becomes relevant in a context in which we are talking about the development of the world's civilizations. If we were to make a bridge between secular man and religious man on the same subject we could have a common element, namely the analysis of human society, related to how it developed, related to the mechanisms of this development and its consequences, things that we meet them both in the same material of history with the differentiation of the fact that different causes could arise. In this study we tried to show that human explanations, regarding the development of the world's civilizations, are not always enough, because according to human logic certain events could not have taken place. From this perspective, looking at things, we consider it important to know the Scriptural perspective on events unfolding in world history, because the revelation of Scripture usually goes somewhere further, beyond what we see and what we have recorded as events in history, penetrating somewhere in the heart of the problems, helping us to have a much broader vision of the events of our world.
    Keywords: The Bible, the development of civilizations, political forces, religious forces, globalization
    Date: 2020–06

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