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Ich Bin Auch ein Lemming: Herding and Consumption Capital in Arts and Culture

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  • Dominic Rohner
  • Anna Winestein
  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

Trends in arts and culture tend to be longer-lasting and less fragile than in other fields such as clothing design. Most herding models are not able to explain such stability, instead predicting informational cascades to be fragile and fads to be frequent. The present contribution is able to explain the hysterisis of trends in arts by incorporating the accumulation of consumption capital into a herding model. Further, the model is tested empirically by analyzing measures of relative and absolute concentration in the television business. It is concluded that by being exposed to art and culture people accumulate consumption capital for a particular style or artist and that this mechanism tends to make herding in arts stable over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 270.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:270

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Keywords: Art; Culture; Herding; Consumption Capital; Concentration;

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  1. Vives, X., 1990. "How Fast Do Rational Agents Learn?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC) 135-90, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-62, December.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  4. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
  5. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  6. Kennedy, Robert E, 2002. "Strategy Fads and Competitive Convergence: An Empirical Test for Herd Behavior in Prime-Time Television Programming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 57-84, March.
  7. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  8. Martin Feldstein, 1991. "The Economics of Art Museums," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld91-1, July.
  9. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Hirshleifer, David & Welch, Ivo, 1992. "A Theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom, and Cultural Change in Informational Cascades," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 992-1026, October.
  10. David Maddison & Terry Foster, 2003. "Valuing congestion costs in the British Museum," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 173-190, January.
  11. Marco Ottaviani & Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 1998. "Social learning in a changing world," Economic Theory, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 657-665.
  12. Dick Stanley & Judy Rogers & Sandra Smeltzer & Luc Perron, 2000. "Win, Place or Show: Gauging the Economic Success of the Renoir and Barnes Art Exhibits," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 243-255, August.
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  1. Brown misses the point on celebrity
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2007-04-16 13:26:16

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