nep-cul New Economics Papers
on Cultural Economics
Issue of 2023‒10‒30
seven papers chosen by
Roberto Zanola, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale

  1. The Valuation of Copies for Chinese Artworks By Kim Oosterlinck; Anne-Sophie Radermecker; Yuqing Song
  2. A Portrait of Trade in Cultural Goods: in respect of the WTO and the UNESCO Instruments in the Context of Hard-Law and Soft-Law By Fartousi, Hassan
  3. Digital transformation, blockchain and music industry: a review from the performers' Collective Management Organizations (CMO) By Arenal, Alberto; Armuña, Cristina; Ramos, Sergio; Feijoo, Claudio; Aguado-Terrón, Juan Miguel
  4. The Content Genre, Audience Share, and Presence of Public Sector Broadcasters in an Era of Overflowing OTT Services By Park, Sungwook; Kwon, Youngsun
  5. What makes 'aespa', the first metaverse girl group in the K-pop universe, succeed in the global entertainment industry? By Jeong, Minju; Kim, Seongcheol
  6. Hedonic price comparison of fixed broadband services: a Hungarian case study By Papai, Zoltan; McLean, Aliz; Bukur, Tamas
  7. When Product Markets Become Collective Traps: The Case of Social Media By Leonardo Bursztyn; ; Rafael Jiménez Durán; Christopher Roth

  1. By: Kim Oosterlinck; Anne-Sophie Radermecker; Yuqing Song
    Abstract: Are copies always inferior to originals in value? In this paper we first detail the differences between the Western and the Eastern worlds’ appreciation of copies. While the hand of the artist is vital in the evaluation of an artwork in the West, Chinese markets also consider the formal aspects of copies in art valuation. Focusing on the eminent Chinese old master Dong Qichang (1555–1636), an artist who was instrumental in developing a system of naming the artists he copied, our empirical analysis demonstrates that the prices of copies may be higher than those of originals. The paper therefore sheds light on how buyers value copies in the context of a globalized art market.
    Keywords: Global art market; Copies; Dong Qichang; Chinese calligraphy and painting; Valuation mechanisms
    Date: 2023–09–14
  2. By: Fartousi, Hassan
    Abstract: Abstract Cultural Goods have the dual nature of being related to both culture and economy. The WTO considers the trade aspects and UNESCO gives value to the cultural aspects of cultural goods. Therefore, there are interactions between the provisions, institutions and practices of the WTO Agreement and UNESCO CDCE on trade in cultural goods. This book examines potential conflicts between the two agreements. In doing so we are proposing three routes to enhance legal coherence between them: propose an improved interpretation of the instruments; harmonise through hard law; and foster mutual supportiveness through soft law. The Author Dr. Hassan Fartousi, research fellow at the World Trade Institute
    Date: 2023–10–06
  3. By: Arenal, Alberto; Armuña, Cristina; Ramos, Sergio; Feijoo, Claudio; Aguado-Terrón, Juan Miguel
    Abstract: This paper study the challenges from the digital transformation of the music industry and the potential role of blockchain from the perspective of the Collective Management Organizations (CMO). Building on desk research and primary data from 9 semi-structured surveys with C level executives, this empirical analysis identifies main projects, their state of development and perspectives for this technology in music industry. Findings conclude that there are a limited number of blockchain projects led and/or with relevant participation of CMO and most of them are just research, proof of concept or pilots, far from a massive commercial phase. In addition, blockchain is not a priority for CMO and its adoption is not a priority in the digital transformation of this companies. The low quality of the data in the origin and the potential governance issues among different stakeholders within music industry appear as the main barriers for blockchain to be considered as a global solution. Ultimately, results in the paper provide a snapshot about the current state and future curve of adoption of blockchain as a solution to manage intellectual property rights in music industry.
    Keywords: digital music ecosystem, digital transformation, blockchain, Collective Management Organization, CMO
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Park, Sungwook; Kwon, Youngsun
    Abstract: Various types of broadcasters have been created due to the progress of broadcasting technology, and recently, global OTT services have threatened the raison d'être of PSBs. PSB opponents, based on neo-classical economics, argue that the government's support for PSB hurts fair competition and distorts the market. In contrast, PSB proponents, based on neo-Keynesian economics, say that PSBs still need to provide citizens with quality programs for correcting market failures. This study found that several PSB channels broadcast entertainment much more than other genres in line with global OTT platforms except BBC One and Rai 1, and that the more PSB channels broadcast entertainment (quality programs), the higher (lower) annual audience share of channels. This could contribute to improving the management performance of PSBs. However, if the social agreement is reached that audience share is not the ultimate goal, it would be desirable for PSBs to consistently supply traditional quality content to citizens to prevent market failures.
    Keywords: content, genre, quality program, audience share, social responsibility, PSB, OTT
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Jeong, Minju; Kim, Seongcheol
    Abstract: An illustrative example of technological advancement in the K-pop industry is SM Entertainment's metaverse girl group, aespa. Aespa, including four virtual members and four real-world members, distinguishes itself by adopting a metaverse-focused worldview and integrating virtual technology. By incorporating technology into their idol concept and delivering a distinctive "metaverse girl group" experience, aespa endeavors to set itself apart from other idol groups. Prior research in the realm of K-pop and idols has predominantly focused on success factors, the idols' working environment, and fashion trends, placing greater emphasis on environmental and contextual elements rather than the individual characteristics and strategies of specific idols. This study aims to investigate the success factors driving aespa's accomplishments in the global entertainment industry. We employ actor-network theory, which recognizes not only humans but also non-human entities as active participants within networks. This theoretical framework is deemed suitable for elucidating intricate social phenomena. This study utilizes actor-network theory as a analytical framework to investigate the implementation of new technologies in the K-pop industry. To achieve this, ten experts from the K-pop industry participated in the interviews. This study employs a case study approach to comprehensively analyze the dynamics and interactions within the network. Specifically, the case study centers around aespa, a metaverse K-pop girl group that achieved remarkable success during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of this study indicate that the global success of aespa was significantly influenced by the roles of A&R and executive producer prior to their debut. Furthermore, subsequent to their debut, technology, social networking services (SNS), and portals emerged as critical determinants. Moreover, the individual ability, appearance, personality of the idol and the agency's involvement played pivotal roles both before and after the debut stage. This study has contributed significant insights by applying Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to the idol industry. It highlights the important factors that K-pop idols need to consider for global industry expansion. The use of ANT provides a valuable framework for understanding the complex dynamics and interactions within the industry, shedding light on the key considerations for successful global ventures in the K-pop idol market.
    Keywords: K-pop, Success Factors, Actor-Network Theory, Metaverse, Aespa, Technology, Virtual Idol
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Papai, Zoltan; McLean, Aliz; Bukur, Tamas
    Abstract: This study examines the changes in consumer prices within the fixed broadband market in Hungary between 2020 and 2022, a period marked by unprecedented market consolidation. Leveraging a hedonic price regression methodology, we inspect price changes in the context of internet service provider (ISP) differences, inflation, and various service features offered in broadband plans. The hedonic method allows for quality-adjusted price tracking over time, in addition to offering insights into the intrinsic value placed on various plan characteristics by consumers. The overall hedonic price index calculated in this study shows a 9.9% decrease in quality-adjusted prices over two years, suggesting enhanced value-for-money for customers. This is striking next to over 20% inflation, as shown by the consumer price index. Moreover, our results show that there are no significant price differences between the wellestablished ISPs, while the challenger third player has continued to exert strong competitive pressure by applying significantly lower quality-adjusted prices. However, given this player's involvement in the recent market consolidation, we anticipate that their pricing will align more closely with other ISPs' in the future. The estimated intrinsic prices of the various fixed broadband plan characteristics are consistent with previous literature. The study underlines the utility of the hedonic methodology in providing nuanced insights into ISP pricing behaviour and fixed retail telecom market dynamics. The study opens up potential areas for future research, such as extending the analysis to television and voice telephony and monitoring future trends in light of the recent changes in market structure.
    Keywords: hedonic regression, telecommunications, fixed broadband, pricing, Hungary
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Leonardo Bursztyn (University of Chicago and NBER); (University of California Berkeley and NBER); Rafael Jiménez Durán (Bocconi University and Chicago Booth Stigler Center); Christopher Roth (University of Cologne, Max Planck Institute for Collective Goods, briq, CESifo, and CEPR)
    Abstract: Individuals might experience negative utility from not consuming a popular product. For example, being inactive on social media can lead to social exclusion or not owning luxury brands can be associated with having a low social status. We show that, in the presence of such spillovers to non-users, standard measures that take aggregate consumption as given fail to appropriately capture welfare. We propose a new methodology to measure welfare that accounts for these consumption spillovers, which we apply to estimate the consumer surplus of two popular social media platforms, TikTok and Instagram. In large-scale, incentivized experiments with college students, we show that, while the standard welfare measure suggests a large and positive surplus, our measure accounting for consumption spillovers indicates a negative surplus, with a large share of active users deriving negative utility. We also shed light on the drivers of consumption spillovers to non-users in the case of social media and show that, in this setting, the “fear of missing out” plays an important role. Our framework and estimates highlight the possibility of product market traps, where large shares of consumers are trapped in an inefficient equilibrium and would prefer the product not to exist.
    Keywords: Welfare; Consumption Spillovers; Collective Trap; Coordination; Product Market Traps; Social Media.
    JEL: D83 D91 P16 J15
    Date: 2023–10

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