The value of Lester’s celeb death research

Michael&KurtMichael Jackson’s death is fueling financial good times for magazine and book publishers, says a report by Advertising Age:

Michael Jackson tributes and book-a-zines have generated $55 million in additional newsstand sales for magazine publishers, providing one bright spot, however somber, amid widespread newsstand declines so far this year.

They are of course not the first to notice this general effect. David Lester provided similar, and maybe deeper, insight, in his research study about the economic value of celebrity suicide, which we discussed not long ago:

A study called Artists’ Suicides as a Public Good explains how we benefit when a famous artist kills himself. As far as I know, this is the only academic report that credits Kurt Cobain as its major source of information.

Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of the grunge music group Nirvana, committed suicide in 1994 (though some people insist it was murder). Professors Samuel Cameron, Bijou Yang and David Lester theorised about the economic consequences of Cobain’s death.

(Thanks to investigator Delia Cabe for bringing the Ad Age article to our attention.)

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