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Music consumption at the dawn of the music industry: the rise of a cultural fad

This paper discusses the extent to which socio-demographic characteristics of consumers and their past consumption are less effective in explaining the decision of purchasing a cultural good than the characteristics of the product itself, which allow imitative behaviors and are at the basis of distinction. While the former approaches are well discussed in the literature, the latter refers to the Bourdieu’s idea of objectified cultural capital, which has been rarely explored in empirical works. Because the various explanatory effects interact with each others, the paper tests a theoretical model which matches individual characteristics of the consumer with the properties of the cultural product. Specifically, we discussed the emergence of a new version of a cultural good, which is able to broaden the dimension of the market by gaining quick success in the the audience. This diffusion pattern is a quite rare event, but disruptive for the market and extremely profitable for the producer. The authors label this occurrence disruptive cultural fad and try to understand the determinants of its adoption. The hypotheses of the model are tested on a unique dataset of micro-data of purchasing transactions in Milan in the early 19th century,when the music by Gioachino Rossini emerged as disruptive cultural fad at the dawn of the music industry

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio Carlo Alberto. WP series with number 201217.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uto:labeco:201217
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