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The Performance of German Motion Pictures, Profits, and


  • Christian Jansen

    (Humboldt-University Berlin)


This paper discusses different mechanisms of subsidy allocation invoked by operation of law. We compare the allocation of subsidies via committees to the allocation of subsidies through the reference principle, which binds public support to performance at the box offce. The analysis is embedded in a broadly disposed regression analysis of the determinants of the performance of German movies in the theatrical market. It aims to identify market characteristics and contrasts the German case with studies that address foreign markets. Finally, the profitability of the industry is considered as the presumed economic non-viability of the industry constantly recurs in the public debate as an argument for subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Jansen, 2003. "The Performance of German Motion Pictures, Profits, and," Industrial Organization 0302002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0302002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on PC; pages: 36

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Adler, Moshe, 1985. "Stardom and Talent," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 208-212, March.
    2. Kornai, J, 1979. "Resource-Constrained versus Demand-Constrained Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 801-819, July.
    3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    4. János Kornai, 2014. "The soft budget constraint," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 64(supplemen), pages 25-79, November.
    5. De Vany, A. & Walls, W.D., 1999. ""Uncertainty in the Movies: Does Star Power Reduce the Terror of the Box Office?"," Papers 98-99-10, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    6. Steven Albert, 1998. "Movie Stars and the Distribution of Financially Successful Films in the Motion Picture Industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 22(4), pages 249-270, December.
    7. M. Bagella & L. Becchetti, 1999. "The Determinants of Motion Picture Box Office Performance: Evidence from Movies Produced in Italy," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 23(4), pages 237-256, November.
    8. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexis Dantec & Florence Levy, 2005. "Stars et box office : un état des approches théoriques et empiriques," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2005-13, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).

    More about this item


    German movies; subsidies; motion picture industry;

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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