Exemplary Qualities: Market Coordination and the Valuation of Singular Products
19 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2015
Date Written: August 30, 2015
In this article the notion of exemplary validity is developed to study the coordination of markets for singular cultural goods. Exemplars are unique goods that become focal points in markets by which market coordination occurs in markets for singular goods. From these exemplars norms of quality emerge which are otherwise hard or impossible to explicate. It is hard to explicate what makes a good basketball player in the abstract but we can refer to the qualities of exemplary players such Michael Jordan, or to a Dostoyevski in literature. These exemplars and the norms of quality which emerge from them help shape the expectations of both producers and consumers with regard to new goods that are introduced on the market. A theoretical economic framework is developed by which exemplars can be identified and analyzed, and through which we can study how the valuation of unique goods occurs on markets. It is demonstrated with two case-studies (of novels and hip-hop albums) how market coordination via quality takes place, and how it influences market outcomes. It is argued that market coordination via quality is more important in markets for unique goods than market coordination via price and quantity.
Keywords: Valuation, Exemplars, Economy of Qualities, Cultural Economics, Singular Goods, Classification
JEL Classification: Z10, D46, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation