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Pop Internationalism: Has Half a Century of World Music Trade Displaced Local Culture?

Authors

  • Fernando Ferreira,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
    2. Carlson School and Department of Economics, University of Minnesota
    3. The National Bureau of Economic Research
    • Corresponding author: Fernando V. Ferreira, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1461 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6302, USA. Email: fferreir@wharton.upenn.edu.

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  • Joel Waldfogel

    1. The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
    2. Carlson School and Department of Economics, University of Minnesota
    3. The National Bureau of Economic Research
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  • We thank the Wharton Global Initiatives Research Program for funding. Fernando Ferreira thanks the Research Sponsor Program of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at Wharton for financial support. Matthew Berg, David Katzianer, Nikhil Bhargava, Eun Young Choi and Alejandro Jerez provided tireless research assistance. All errors are our own.

Abstract

Advances in communication technologies have increased the availability of cultural goods across borders, raising concerns that cultural products from large economies will displace those in smaller economies. This article provides stylised facts about global music consumption and trade since 1960 using a unique data on popular music charts corresponding to over 98% of the global music market. Contrary to growing fears about large-country dominance, our gravity estimates show a substantial bias towards domestic music that has, perhaps surprisingly, increased in the past decade. Moreover, we find no evidence that new communications channels reduce the consumption of domestic music.

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