nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2021‒10‒11
two papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Unequal entanglements: how arts practitioners reflect on the impact of intensifying economic inequality By Kolbe, Kristina
  2. Streaming Stimulates the Live Concert Industry: Evidence from YouTube By Finn Christensen

  1. By: Kolbe, Kristina
    Abstract: This article discusses how arts practitioners reflect on their work amidst deepening economic inequality. Given the renewed interest in the social role of arts institutions under conditions of financialised neo-liberalism, the paper traces the complex ways in which economic imperatives figure in cultural practice. Drawing on interviews with UK-based gallery directors, museum curators, art consultants, and artists, I map out how austerity politics and intensifying privatisation processes have a profound impact on the workings of the sector, how they recalibrate dynamics between private and public artworlds, and how they shape processes of production and curation. My data specifically document how increasing economic precarity brings into relief structural inequalities of gender, race and (post)-colonial legacies already manifesting in the artworld. Rather than understanding austerity as a financial condition only, the paper thus presents an empirical exploration of the wider inequalities that it has exacerbated, from arts funding to institutions’ programming practices.
    Keywords: art institutions; austerity; creative labour; cultural policy; inequality; museums; Marshall Institute
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021–09–14
  2. By: Finn Christensen (Department of Economics, Towson University)
    Abstract: I exploit the removal of Warner Music content from YouTube in the first three quarters of 2009 as a plausible natural experiment to investigate the impact of streaming on live concert sales. I find that this Warner-YouTube blackout had statistically and economically negative effects on Warner artists relative to non-Warner artists. Specifically, relative revenues and prices were lower and relative attendance was not higher. These effects were stronger among artists who recently had a song in the Billboard Hot 100 and among those who were more frequently searched on YouTube. These findings suggest that the diffusion of streaming has stimulated the demand for live concerts. The evidence is also consistent with a differentiated Bertrand model of ticket pricing in which prices are strategic complements and prices and streaming penetration gives rise to increasing differences in the artist profit function. More broadly, the paper is an example of how the results from the monotone comparative statics literature can be adapted for use with difference-in-differences estimation.
    Keywords: Live music, streaming, digitization, monotone comparative statics, refutability.
    JEL: D2 L2 L8 Z11
    Date: 2021–01

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