Exemplary Qualities: Market Coordination and the Valuation of Singular Products

19 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2015

See all articles by Erwin Dekker

Erwin Dekker

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

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

Dekker, Erwin, Exemplary Qualities: Market Coordination and the Valuation of Singular Products (August 30, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2653373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2653373

Erwin Dekker (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA

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