nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
three papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Seller-buyer networks in NFT art are driven by preferential ties By Giovanni Colavizza
  2. Do Songs Become More Popular After Being Sampled? By Beaven, Harry
  3. Economic complexity and firm performance in the cultural and creative sector: evidence from Italian provinces By Burlina, Chiara; Casadei, Patrizia; Crociata, Alessandro

  1. By: Giovanni Colavizza
    Abstract: Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) have recently surged to mainstream attention by allowing the exchange of digital assets via blockchains. NFTs have also been adopted by artists to sell digital art. One of the promises of NFTs is broadening participation to the arts market, a traditionally closed and opaque system, to sustain a wider and more diverse set of artists and collectors. A key sign of this effect would be the disappearance or at least reduction in importance of seller-buyer preferential ties, whereby the success of an artist is strongly dependent on the patronage of a single collector. We investigate NFT art seller-buyer networks considering several galleries and a large set of nearly 40,000 sales for over 230M USD in total volume. We find that NFT art is a highly concentrated market driven by few successful sellers and even fewer systematic buyers. High concentration is present in both the number of sales and, even more strongly, in their priced volume. Furthermore, we show that, while a broader-participation market was present in the early phase of NFT art adoption, preferential ties have dominated during market growth, peak and recent decline. We consistently find that the top buyer accounts on average for over 80% of buys for a given seller. Similar trends apply to buyers and their top seller. We conclude that NFT art constitutes, at the present, a highly concentrated market driven by preferential seller-buyer ties.
    Date: 2022–10
  2. By: Beaven, Harry (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Ever since star-studded copyright infringement cases in the early 1990s concluded that the process of music sampling did not constitute ‘fair use’ of intellectual property, high licensing costs have made the process prohibitively expensive. Employing streaming service data, this paper reevaluates the traditional ineligibility of the fair use doctrine by presenting empirical evidence of music sampling’s effect on the popularity of sampled songs on Spotify over the period 2016-2022. It then examines for which levels ofpre-sampling popularity this effect is strongest, as well as the effect of genre and the relationship between the genres of the sampled and sampling song. We find that sampled songs are added to playlists at a 20-40% higher rate for a seven week period afterbeing repurposed within popular songs. Furthermore, original works see greater in-creases in the rate of playlist addition when there is more scope for sampling to act as informative advertising : when sampled songs were already well known, or had genre characteristics that imply listener familiarity (such as being repurposed in a song of the same genre), our primary findings diminished or disappeared entirely.
    Keywords: Music Sampling ; Copyright ; Fair Use ; Music Streaming ; Spotify JEL Classification: 110 ; O340 ; K110
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Burlina, Chiara; Casadei, Patrizia; Crociata, Alessandro
    Abstract: Several studies have detected a positive relationship between the spatial dynamics of cultural and creative industries (CCIs) and their social and economic outcomes. In this article, we draw upon the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) as a proxy to capture the social interactive nature that characterises CCIs and the way this affects firm performance. Our assumption is that more complex locations, endowed with different types of more sophisticated production capabilities, allow CCI firms to perform more strongly. This can depend on the higher opportunities of complex knowledge sharing and cross-fertilisation processes among different types of CCI firms or with non-CCI firms. The focus is on Italy, a country with a long-standing historical tradition in culture and creativity. We draw upon an original panel database at firm and province level (for the period 2010–2016) to compute two different ECIs, one for the CCIs and another one for the rest of the economy. Moreover, we analyse the effects these two types of complexity on the performance of firms within sectors with different levels of cultural and commercial value. We find that economic complexity of CCIs but not economic complexity of the rest of the economy matters for CCI firm performance. However, the effect is relatively weak. The same finding applies to all CCI firms, irrespective of their type of sector. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.
    Keywords: clusters; cultural and creative industries; economic complexity; firm performance; Italy; provinces
    JEL: J1 R14 J01
    Date: 2022–09–23

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