nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2023‒01‒23
four papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola
Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. Practice, Entrepreneurship and Subjectivity in Artist Identification with Applications to the Covid-Era By Weber, Cameron; Zhen, Ying; Arias, JJ
  2. Asymmetric Globalization, Top Performers’ Income and Inequality By Joel Hellier
  3. Festival Games: Inebriated and Sober Altruists By Giuseppe Attanasi; James C. Cox; Vjollca Sadiraj
  4. Overshadowed by popularity: The value of second-tier stars in European football By Fabienne Jedelhauser; Raphael Flepp; Egon Franck

  1. By: Weber, Cameron; Zhen, Ying; Arias, JJ
    Abstract: How we define an artist and how we use census and survey data to study artist behaviour is a cornerstone of cultural economics. Frey and Pommerehne (1989) list eight criteria for identifying an artist, from time spent on and income derived from art-making, to reputation and recognition, organizational membership and professional qualifications. We take a radically subjective approach where we use only the last of their categories, artist self-identification, to attempt a theoretical advancement in art economics. Concurrent with the professionalization of economic science at the university and positivism in economic policy emerges a quantitative focus on production in labor markets (Tribe 2022). This seems a Procrustean bed for cultural economics in that artists tend to be self-directed, entrepreneurial and self-employed and when they do work for others, do so only as a second “job” in order to support creative practice (Throsby 1994). This is not a labor market model where income is maximized and redistribution is needed for fairness. There is an over-supply of art, subsidy may not be necessary as may create moral hazard (Benhamou 2003). We use Max Weber (1919)’s original notion of avocation (substantive value) versus vocation (instrumental value) and determine that it may be wrong to fit art-making into the categories of mainstream industrial and labor economics. For our book Artists and Markets in Music (Routledge 2023) we are currently conducting two complementary surveys to understand how musicians have altered their social practice and craft during the covid-era. One survey is of Grammy-members where the criterion for being an artist is to make one’s living at music and follows-on a 2018 survey (Krueger 2019). The second is a grassroots snowball survey where the criterion is self-identification as a musician. The two different surveys might help us to test differing relevancies for the SAD production function in music as proposed by Samuel Cameron (2015, 2016) as well as further identifying market heterogeneity as discussed in Throsby 1994
    Keywords: Arts Entrepreneurship, Musical Artist, Creativity, Covid-Era, Industrial Organization
    JEL: B41 I26 J82 L5 Z11
    Date: 2022–08
  2. By: Joel Hellier (LEM-CNRS (UMR 9221), Lille Univ. and LEMNA, Nantes Univ.)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new explanation for the rise in top performers’ income based on an asymmetry in globalization, with one country producing globalized non-rivalrous performances (music, films, series, entertainment programmes etc.) whereas other countries produce purely domestic ones. In the country with globalized performances, the globalization dynamics (growing number of countries involved in the global market) entails an increase in the number and incomes of performers and an increase in inequality by the top. In countries with purely national performances, the participation in the global economy reduces the number and incomes of performers and lessens inequality by the top. In contrast, when globalization is symmetric (all countries producing globalized performances), there is no change in the number and incomes of performers in all countries compared to cultural autarky. These results are in line with several characteristics observed in activities directly impacted by the cultural supremacy of American and English speaking countries in the global economy: 1) the share of Anglo-Saxon countries in the top 100 richest is substantially higher for actresses, actors, singers and TV show and film producers than for other occupations (CEOs, businessmen etc.), 2) the increase in the share of top incomes is significantly higher in Anglo-Saxon countries, and 3) the increase in inequality is greater in those countries.
    Keywords: Asymmetry, Globalization, Inequality, Performers, Superstars.
    JEL: F66 J31 J44 L82
    Date: 2023–01
  3. By: Giuseppe Attanasi; James C. Cox; Vjollca Sadiraj
    Abstract: We run a staged field experiment during three concerts in the South of Italy, characterized by the same traditional music and a comparable average level of alcohol consumption by attendees. Individual blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is measured with electronic breathalyzers. The experimental games proposed to concert attendees are mini-games of payoff equivalent private and common property games (Cox et al. 2009). We find that alcohol consumption leads to less pro-social behavior independently of the version of the game, and that the rate of efficient choices is more than twice as high in the private property game than in the common property game. Efficiency of play decreases with alcohol consumption, increases with belief about the percentage of participants who are not inebriated, and is higher for tourists than local participants.
    Keywords: Staged Field Experiment, Alcohol, Private Property Game, Common Property Game, Reciprocity, Tourists
    JEL: C72 C93 Z10 Z32
    Date: 2023–01
  4. By: Fabienne Jedelhauser (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Raphael Flepp (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Egon Franck (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Superstars in European football are exceptionally talented and enjoy celebrity status. While second-tier stars, i.e., players barely below superstar status, lack popularity, their marginal contribution to team performance on the pitch relative to that of superstars is unknown. Relying on league-specific preseason market value distributions to define superstars and second-tier stars, we compare the marginal contributions of superstars and second-tier stars to team performance on the pitch in the top five European football leagues. Examining the impact of unexpected injury-related absences, we find that second-tier stars’ marginal contribution is at least equal to that of superstars. Thus, European football players with the highest market values do not outperform second-tier stars in terms of their marginal contributions to team performance on the pitch. These findings have important implications for football managers, as the players with arguably the highest costs for clubs do not contribute accordingly to short-run sportive success.
    Keywords: Superstars; second-tier stars; marginal contribution; team performance; football
    JEL: Z20 J44
    Date: 2022–12

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