nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2022‒09‒26
five papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. How to Manage Public Artworks? A Market Alternative to Deaccessioning By Claudia Amadei; Marina Bertolini; Luciano Greco
  2. Global Art Market in the Aftermath of COVID-19: A Case Study on the United Arab Emirates By Eve Grinstead
  3. Online video sharing and revenues during the Pandemic. Evidence from musical stream data By Mourelatos, Evangelos; Mourelatos, Haris
  4. Famous after Death: The Effect of a Writer's Death on Book Sales By Ponzo, Michela; Scoppa, Vincenzo
  5. The First Sale Doctrine and the Digital Challenge to Public Libraries By Imke C. Reimers; Joel Waldfogel

  1. By: Claudia Amadei (CRIEP and Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova); Marina Bertolini (CRIEP and Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova); Luciano Greco (CRIEP and Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova)
    Abstract: The case of Italy—that is representative of a global trend—highlights how a large part of movable cultural heritage is hidden in public museums’ warehouses and not even properly recorded. The legal framework, especially in Civil law countries, limits the scope for privatization as part of the optimal management of cultural assets. We propose a tradable long-term concession on movable artworks to enhance the incentives of selected private operators to invest in artworks’ extraction from public museums’ warehouses (i.e., inventory, exploitation, etc.). For fiscally constrained countries, the social and monetary values that derive from public cultural heritage increase compared to traditional exploitation schemes.
    Keywords: movable cultural heritage, asset management, public-private partnerships, art market
    JEL: H44 H82 Z11 Z18
    Date: 2022–09
  2. By: Eve Grinstead (IHMC - Institut d'histoire moderne et contemporaine - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: How has COVID-19 affected the global art market? This virus interrupted 2020 in unforeseen ways globally, including the cancellation of the most important art events of the year. Through a close chronological study of the Emirati art scene's response, both in commercial and noncommercial venues, this essay explains how, and why, the UAE's art scene was able to react quickly and perhaps more effectively than that of other nations, and what that means for its future. Based on fieldwork and press articles, this article posits that the Emirati art scene evolved from being virtually non-existent to a thriving contemporary art hub in a matter of decades because it has always had to adapt to challenges such as nonexistent art infrastructure or the 2008 financial crisis. By studying the UAE, we find examples of exhibitions that quickly moved from being in situ to online, a rare instance of galleries and art auction house collaborating, government and institutional structures stepping up to support artists and galleries, and the renaissance of Art Dubai taking place in person in 2021 after being abruptly cancelled in 2020. This knowledge provides insight into how the global art market is changing to face the consequences of COVID-19
    Keywords: United Arab Emirates (UAE),Art Dubai,Alserkal Avenue,Sotheby’s Dubai,virtual exhibitions,Abu Dhabi Art,post-COVID-19 art market
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Mourelatos, Evangelos; Mourelatos, Haris
    Abstract: This study examines how instant online video sharing affects artists' musical streams during the pandemic. On average, the use of the TikTok app significantly increases artists' streams, by approximately 5%. This increase is even higher for male, European and dj Mag 2020 new entry artists.
    Keywords: Covid-19,Streams,Online video sharing
    JEL: I1 L82 Z10
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Ponzo, Michela (University of Calabria); Scoppa, Vincenzo (University of Calabria)
    Abstract: In the standard neoclassical model consumers use all the available information and the demand for goods depends exclusively on preferences and prices whereas other spurious information do not play any role. In the market for books, we investigate if – in contrast to the standard model – the death of a writer has an impact on demand for his/her books, that is, we ask if consumers are affected by factors such as emotions and limited attention, as highlighted in behavioral economics. We use bestseller lists at week level for about 30 years (1975-2005) and through a Regression Discontinuity Design we evaluate the impact of a writer's death on the probability of entering in the bestseller list in the period immediately following his/her death. Controlling for age, gender, literary prizes, publishers' relevance and time dummies we find that a writer's death increases the probability of being in the bestseller list of more than 100%. Using a non-parametric RD approach we find very similar results. A number of robustness checks – changing the time window around the death, the estimation method, the outcome variable, the sample used – confirm our findings. In the attempt to investigate which mechanism drives consumers' decisions, we find a much greater impact for writers dying at an early age, for more famous writers and when the news is covered more extensively, suggesting that emotions and media attention are the main drivers of the impact.
    Keywords: book sales, writer's death, emotions, limited attention, salience, cultural economics, behavioral economics
    JEL: D91 Z10 Z11 L82 M30 D12
    Date: 2022–08
  5. By: Imke C. Reimers; Joel Waldfogel
    Abstract: Libraries have traditionally provided free communal access to books, facilitated by the first sale doctrine's (FSD) guarantee that libraries may purchase physical books at consumer prices. Increasingly restrictive ebook access terms may imperil libraries, and we compare the welfare cost of higher ebook prices to the welfare benefit of the FSD's guarantee of low physical book prices for libraries and their patrons. Using data on over 8,000 library systems for 2013-2019, we measure the impacts of physical and electronic holdings on the respective formats' circulation. We then build a structural model of the library market, and we rationalize the status quo book holdings with a librarian utility function that attaches higher weights to electronic circulation. While higher counterfactual ebook prices would induce libraries to substitute physical for electronic holdings, this would have little effect on patron CS because of consumer willingness to substitute. By contrast, higher physical book prices, as would prevail absent the first sale doctrine, reduce CS by almost ten times as much as an analogous ebook price increase.
    JEL: H42 L82 O34
    Date: 2022–08

This nep-cul issue is ©2022 by Roberto Zanola. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.