nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2022‒05‒09
three papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Harmonious Relations: Quality transmission among composers in the very long run By Karol Jan Borowiecki; Nicholas Ford; Maria Marchenko
  2. Accounting for social difference when measuring cultural diversity By David C Maré; Jacques Poot
  3. Are vat reforms an effective tool for promoting the consumption of culture? Evidence from a quasiexperiment in Spain. By Miguel Gómez-Antonio; Ignacio del Moral Arce; Miriam Hortas-Rico

  1. By: Karol Jan Borowiecki (Department of Economics, University of Southern Denmark); Nicholas Ford (Department of Economic History, Lund University); Maria Marchenko (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)
    Abstract: Most creatives acquire professional talents by learning from others, but in most settings it is difficult to estimate the existence of long-term effects. This paper explores the transmission of skills over a period of more than seven centuries by focusing on the case of music composers. We ask the question: how does a composer’s quality influence the quality of the composers he or she teaches? Our analysis builds on a unique dataset of 17,433 composers from around the world since the fourteenth century. By comparing actual teacher–student pairs with plausible counterfactual pairs and by using a two-stage framework, we show a strong effect of quality transmission. Moreover, we find quality transmission persists across multiple generations: from teacher to student, and subsequently to student’s student and so on. Our results provide new insights on drivers of creativity over the very long term, as well as the influence of teachers on students’ achievements.
    Keywords: creativity, transmission of ideas, music history, teacher influence
    JEL: I21 J24 N30 O31 Z11
    Date: 2022–05
  2. By: David C Maré (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Jacques Poot (Te Ngira: Institute for Population Research, University of Waikato)
    Abstract: In this paper we introduce a measure of cultural diversity that takes ‘social difference’ between country of birth and ethnic groups into account. We measure social difference using exploratory factor analysis of subjective identity, attitude and value responses in Aotearoa New Zealand’s 2016 General Social Survey. We examine the level of, and change in, our social difference-based measure of cultural diversity in 31 urban areas between 1976 and 2018, using census data. We compare these patterns with those derived from a standard fractionalisation measure of diversity based on population composition by country of birth and ethnicity. We find that the two diversity measures are highly correlated across the urban areas. Diversity increased everywhere between 1976 and 2018, whether social difference is taken into account or not. However, the social difference-based measure increased much faster than the standard measure in all but one of the urban areas. This suggests that growth in the fractionalisation measure of diversity is likely to have underestimated the trend in experienced social difference. Both measures also show evidence of spatial convergence in diversity: urban areas with low diversity in 1976 – which tended to be in the South Island – exhibited faster increases. Population diversity increased strikingly in Queenstown, which was the 19th most diverse urban area in 1976, in terms of social difference, but second only to Auckland in 2018.
    Keywords: Cultural diversity; social difference; fractionalisation; New Zealand; urban
    JEL: J15 R23 Z13
    Date: 2022–04
  3. By: Miguel Gómez-Antonio; Ignacio del Moral Arce; Miriam Hortas-Rico
    Abstract: Sponsoring culture is a long-term profit-generating investment that public policy makers can achieve by means of Pigouvian subsidy or tax schemes. This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the three VAT reforms implemented between 2012 and 2018 (one tax raise reform and two tax cut reforms) in the cultural sector in Spain. We first provide visual evidence and empirical estimates of the tax shifting and the distribution of the VAT burden between consumers and producers. We then use a regression discontinuity design to assess the causal effects of these VAT reforms on performing acts and cinema consumption (both in the extensive and the intensive margin).
    Keywords: fiscal policy tools; VAT reform; cultural goods; quasi-experimental methods.
    JEL: H27 C22 C34 C35
    Date: 2022–05

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