Essays in applied economics
- The first chapter is co-authored with Kevin Hoan Nguyen. Changes in the technology format of popular music distribution are nothing new. Vinyl records and cassette tapes disappeared in the 1990s, CDs faded out in the 2000s, and digital downloads began their decline in the 2010s to make way for streaming subscriptions and on-demand radio. We use data from Billboard's Hot 100, a weekly ranking of the most popular songs in the United States, to investigate the impact of technology format changes on the popularity characteristics of these songs. We find that the transition from CD to digital impacts popularity characteristics significantly. The digital technology format reduces the cost of releasing a single, which allows established artists to crowd out the Hot 100 by virtue of their reputation. Faster feedback mechanisms lead to the emergence of "one-week wonders" -- i.e., songs charting on the Hot 100 for only a week before disappearing. Once a song manages to survive the initial vetting process, the digital format facilitates discovery and allows the song to remain popular for longer than previously possible. The second chapter is co-authored with Kevin Hoan Nguyen. We investigate the effect of the Australian Youth Participation in Education and Training Reform, an unusual policy implemented from 2003 to 2010. The reform introduced a new phase of compulsory participation, where students must either stay in school, take approved vocational courses, attend an apprenticeship, work full-time, or any combination of the above. We find that almost half of the students -- who would have left school early absent the compulsory participation phase -- undertake training, employment, or other courses, suggesting that the policy induces a different set of compliers compared to traditional compulsory schooling laws. Although there is considerable heterogeneity in the effects on education attainment by socio-economic status and gender, the reform raises the total years of schooling by 0.14 years and the high school attainment level by 5.8 percent. The reform significantly raises wages and income for the treated cohorts. The third chapter is co-authored with Petra Moser. Policy changes in 1996 and 2012 retroactively placed thousands of foreign compositions, such as Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, under copyright in the United States. Critics argue that long-lived copyright terms limit access to important compositions for all but the most affluent U.S. orchestras, but there is little systematic evidence. This paper examines repertoire data for U.S. symphonies between 1842 and 2012 to investigate the impact of copyright on the diffusion of classical music. We find that copyright is a key determinant of the types of music that U.S. orchestras play, and that copyright disproportionately impacts orchestras that are more budget-constrained. Repertoire data also indicate that a lack of copyright protection helped popularize Russian music in the United States.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Lao, Chung An
|Stanford University, Department of Economics.
|Bresnahan, Timothy F
|Bresnahan, Timothy F
|Statement of responsibility
|Chung An (Jerry) Lao.
|Submitted to the Department of Economics.
|Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2016.
- © 2016 by Chung An Lao
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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