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Superstars without talent? The Yule distribution controversy

  • Spierdijk, Laura

    (Dept. of Econometrics, University of Groningen)

  • Voorneveld, Mark

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

Chung and Cox (1994) provided an intuitively appealing stochastic model which indicates that superstars may exist regardless of talent and which gives rise to the Yule distribution. We adopt a different empirical approach and test its goodness-of-fit using a parametric bootstrap and several powerful test statistics. Just like the discrete Pareto distribution, it is overwhelmingly rejected: it is a fairly accurate approximation of the lower quantiles of the superstar distribution, but overestimates the snowball effect that makes consumers purchase records of the most successful artists. In other words, the Yule distribution captures stardom, but not superstardom. A generalization of the Yule distribution provides an excellent fit in two of the three data sets.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/hastef/papers/hastef0658.pdf
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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 658.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: 25 Apr 2007
Date of revision: 09 May 2007
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0658
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  1. Victor Ginsburgh & David Throsby, 2006. "Handbook of the Eonomics of Art and Culture," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/152412, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Adler, Moshe, 1985. "Stardom and Talent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 208-12, March.
  3. Adler, Moshe, 2006. "Stardom and Talent," Handbook of the Economics of Art and Culture, Elsevier.
  4. Giles, David E., 2006. "Superstardom in the US popular music industry revisited," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 68-74, July.
  5. Cox, Raymond A. K. & Kleiman, Robert T., 2000. "A stochastic model of superstardom: evidence from institutional investor's All-American Research Team," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-53.
  6. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
  7. Chung, Kee H & Cox, Raymond A K, 1994. "A Stochastic Model of Superstardom: An Application of the Yule Distribution," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 771-75, November.
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