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Ich bin auch ein Lemming: Herding and Consumption Capital in Arts and Culture

  • Dominic Rohner
  • Anna Winestein
  • Bruno S. Frey

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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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2006-05.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2006-05
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  1. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 2010. "A theory of Fads, Fashion, Custom and cultural change as informational Cascades," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1193, David K. Levine.
  2. Lones Smith & Peter Sorensen, 2000. "Pathological Outcomes of Observational Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 371-398, March.
  3. 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, vol. 50(1), pages 57-84, March.
  4. Vives, X., 1990. "How Fast Do Rational Agents Learn?," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 135-90, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  5. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  6. 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.
  7. 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, vol. 24(3), pages 243-255, August.
  8. Giuseppe Moscarin & Marco Ottaviani & Lones Smith, . "Social Learning in a Changing World," ELSE working papers 010, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  9. Martin Feldstein, 1991. "The Economics of Art Museums," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld91-1, July.
  10. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521530927 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Anderson, Lisa R & Holt, Charles A, 1997. "Information Cascades in the Laboratory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 847-62, December.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521824019 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
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