nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒22
six papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Psychopathology of Plastic Art and Creativity By Schiopu Cristina Gabriela
  2. The Impact of the Agency Model on E-book Prices: Evidence from the UK By Maximilian Maurice Gail; Phil-Adrian Klotz
  3. Self-Representation on Social Media During Lockdowns in the First and Second COVID-19 Pandemic Waves By Alexandra Valeria Sandor
  4. The geography of innovation and technology news - An empirical study of the German news media By Burcu Ozgun; Tom Broekel;
  5. Beauty and Preferences Formation Exemplified in the Sports Market By Hannah Josepha Rachel Altman; Morris Altman; Benno Torgler and Stephen Whyte
  6. Electoral Competition with Fake News By Gene M Grossman; Elhanan Helpman

  1. By: Schiopu Cristina Gabriela (Institute of Psychiatry Socola Iasi, Romania)
    Abstract: Art is born at the border of external and intrapsychic realities, through the human being’s necessity of including pragmatic elements of his environment into his own affective system. Creativity stands between objective and subjective worlds as a symbolic metamorphosis of the material into the immaterial of the imagination, conscience and emotions of the artist. The product of creativity will be a complex interpretation of environmental elements meant for reinterpretations by other personalities, with their own individual and specific set of imagination tools. But what if, the inspiration for the artistic work is not a reflection of reality but o product of patho-psychological disruptions or, what if the inspiration resides in the altered emotional and neurological perception of reality? The artistic creativity within psychopathological activity in certain psychiatric disorders have been raising interest for both medical and non-medical world but the most intriguing aspect, is maybe, the colorful and complexity of emotions and sensations that are perceived by non-psychiatric persons when viewing such works. Maybe this could represent an argument for the subjective and relativeness of the human psychology, beyond social and cultural standard values.
    Keywords: artistic, creativity, psychology, imagination, symbol
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Maximilian Maurice Gail (Justus Liebig University Giessen); Phil-Adrian Klotz (Justus Liebig University Giessen)
    Abstract: This paper empirically analyzes the effect of the widely used agency model on the retail prices of e-books in United Kingdom. Using a unique cross-sectional data set of e-book prices for a large sample of book titles across all major publishing houses, we exploit cross-genre and cross-publisher variation to identify the mean effect of the agency model on e-book prices. Since the genre information is ambiguous and even missing for some titles in our original dataset, we use a Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) approach to determine detailed book genres based on the book's descriptions. We find that e-book prices for titles that are sold under the agency model are 36% cheaper than titles sold under the wholesale model on average. Our results are robust to different specifications, a Lewbel instrumental variable approach, and machine learning techniques.
    Keywords: e-books, agency, resale price maintenance, Amazon, double machine learning, Latent Dirichlet allocation
    JEL: D12 D22 L42 L81 L82 Z11
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Alexandra Valeria Sandor (Doctoral School of Sociology, Hungary)
    Abstract: Social media is a diverse and dynamically evolving online space that consists of multiple platforms. These social media platforms have become part of the daily lives of many and have grown into important venues of interaction. The ability to cross geographical and cultural borders and the interchangeable roles of sender and recipient (as opposed to conventional mass communications patterns) are two essential features of social media. This pilot study intends to provide an overview of changes that have occurred in self-representation on social media and their possible connection to mental health among Hungarian users using an online questionnaire conducted during two lockdowns in the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of this two-step survey indicate that the use of social media and self-representation in social media posts increased during the lockdown periods, with selfies being the most popular type of content shared. In addition, signs of major depression were more prevalent among social media users who shared photos or videos of themselves or their close relations at least once a day on Messenger, the platform on which willingness to share this type of content increased the most during the lockdowns.
    Keywords: COVID-19, self-representation, social media, sociology, social psychology
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Burcu Ozgun; Tom Broekel;
    Abstract: Variations in the frequency and tone of news media are the focus of a growing literature. However, to date, empirical investigations have primarily confirmed the existence of such differences at the country level. This paper extends those insights to the subnational level. We provide theoretical arguments and empirical support for systematic regional variations in the frequency and sentiments of news related to innovation and new technologies. These variations reflect regional socio-economic structures. We find that the average newspaper circulating in urban areas features more news on innovation and new technologies than media in more rural areas. Similar endings hold for locations in East Germany and to a certain degree for regions with low unemployment. The sentiments of innovation and new technology news are negatively associated to the unemployment rate, and they tend to be lower in regional newspapers than in national ones. Overall, our results suggest a strong link between the regional socioeconomic conditions and how newspapers circulating in these places report on innovation and new technologies.
    Keywords: innovation, technology, news media, sentiment analysis, topic modeling
    JEL: O33 R12 L82
    Date: 2021–03
  5. By: Hannah Josepha Rachel Altman; Morris Altman; Benno Torgler and Stephen Whyte
    Abstract: Beauty has been used as a fast and frugal heuristic, and therefore an important determinant of choice, as highlighted in research by Hamermesh. In a world of asymmetric information, beauty represents a proxy for objective characteristics or an object of desire, according to an individual’s preferences. A correlate of beauty, sexiness, has been used in sports to choose trainers or even to select the athletes expected to perform best, with people paying a premium for this beauty or sexiness. We argue that beauty can be a good or bad heuristic depending on the objective relationship between beauty and what it proxies. When it is a bad heuristic, it generates sub‐optimal outcomes for sports organizations. We discuss the conditions under which the beauty or sexiness heuristic generates sub‐optimal outcomes, why rational agents choose such a heuristic, and the conditions under which bad heuristics are sustainable. We also discuss this heuristic and the beauty premium in the context of Becker’s economic theory of discrimination, wherein rational decision‐makers trade‐off material considerations for the utility gained by contracting beautiful and sexy individuals. The latter has implications for the economic sustainability of an organization.
    Keywords: -
    Date: 2021–03
  6. By: Gene M Grossman (Princeton University); Elhanan Helpman (Harvard University and CIFAR)
    Abstract: Misinformation pervades political competition. We introduce opportunities for political candidates and their media supporters to spread fake news about the policy environment and perhaps about parties' positions into a familiar model of electoral competition. In the baseline model with full information, the parties' positions converge to those that maximize aggregate welfare. When parties can broadcast fake news to audiences that disproportionately include their partisans, policy divergence and suboptimal outcomes can result. We study a sequence of models that impose progressively tighter constraints on false reporting and characterize situations that lead to divergence and a polarized electorate.
    Keywords: policy formation, probabilistic voting, misinformation, polarization, fake news
    JEL: D78 D72
    Date: 2020–10

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