'I Wish Someone Help Me Write this Song'; Or, the Efficient Allocation of Resources in Rock Bands

29 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2010 Last revised: 23 Mar 2010

Cinzia Ciardi

Università di Pisa - Facoltà di Scienze Politiche

Alessandro Balestrino

Universita di Pisa - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: February 21, 2010

Abstract

Economics, they say, can explain (almost) everything. In this paper, we argue that with a little help from its friends - that is, borrowing a few insights from psychology and sociology - economics can explain also why certain rock bands have had more success than others. We argue that the two most successful rock bands of all times in terms of album sales - Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd - have both relied on an efficient internal organisation in which productive tasks were allocated according to the principle of comparative advantage. We also note that efficient organisational structures are difficult to achieve and to maintain in the case of rock bands. Finally, we suggest that our analysis yields valuable insights for the study of the internal organisation of productive teams without a pre-ordained hierarchical structure.

Keywords: Comparative Advantage, Allocative Efficiency, Transaction Costs, Rock Bands

JEL Classification: Z1

Suggested Citation

Ciardi, Cinzia and Balestrino, Alessandro, 'I Wish Someone Help Me Write this Song'; Or, the Efficient Allocation of Resources in Rock Bands (February 21, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1556677 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1556677

Cinzia Ciardi

Università di Pisa - Facoltà di Scienze Politiche ( email )

v.Serafini, 3
v.Colombo, 35
Pisa
Italy

Alessandro Balestrino (Contact Author)

Universita di Pisa - Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche ( email )

Sede di Scienze Politiche, via Serafini 3
I-56126 Pisa
Italy
+39 050 221 2437 (Phone)
+39 050 221 2450 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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