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Pop Internationalism: Has A Half Century of World Music Trade Displaced Local Culture?

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  • Fernando Ferreira
  • Joel Waldfogel

Abstract

Advances in communication technologies over the past half century have made the cultural goods of one country more readily available to consumers in another, raising concerns that cultural products from large economies – in particular the US – will displace the indigenous cultural products of smaller economies. In this paper we provide stylized facts about the global music consumption and trade since 1960, using a unique data on popular music charts from 22 countries, corresponding to over 98% of the global music market. We find that trade volumes are higher between countries that are geographically closer and between those that share a language. Contrary to growing fears about large- country dominance, trade shares are roughly proportional to country GDP shares; and relative to GDP, the US music share is substantially below the shares of other smaller countries. We find a substantial bias toward domestic music which has, perhaps surprisingly, increased sharply in the past decade. We find no evidence that new communications channels – such as the growth of country-specific MTV channels and Internet penetration – reduce the consumption of domestic music. National policies aimed at preventing the death of local culture, such as radio airplay quotas, may explain part of the increasing consumption of local music.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15964.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Publication status: published as “Pop Internationalism: Has A Half Century of World Music Trade Displaced Local Culture?”, with Joel Waldfogel. Economic Journal, June 2013, Vol. 123, Issue 569, p. 634-664.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15964

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  1. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00641280 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2007. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," NBER Working Papers 13305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Waldfogel, Joel, 2005. "Strength in Numbers: Group Size and Political Mobilization," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 73-91, April.
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  7. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2010. "Exposure to foreign media and changes in cultural traits: Evidence from naming patterns in France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 226-238, March.
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  13. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
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  19. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Massimiliano Bratti & Giulia Felice, 2012. "Are Exporters More Likely to Introduce Product Innovations?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(11), pages 1559-1598, November.
  2. Maria MASOOD, 2014. "New Evidence on Development and Cultural Trade: Diversification, Reconcentration and Domination," Working Papers P85, FERDI.
  3. Francesco DI COMITE & Jacques-François THISSE & Hylke VANDENBUSSCHE, 2011. "Verti-zontal Differentiation in Monopolistic Competition," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011046, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. repec:hal:cepnwp:hal-00778502 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. repec:hal:wpaper:hal-00778502 is not listed on IDEAS

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