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Agglomeration Economies in Classical Music

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Abstract

This study investigates agglomeration effects for classical music production in a wide range of cities for a global sample of composers born between 1750 and 1899. Theory suggests a trade-off between agglomeration economies (peer effects) and diseconomies (peer crowding). I test this hypothesis using historical data on composers and employ a unique instrumental variable – a measure of birth centrality, calculated as the average distance between a composer’s birthplace and the birthplace of his peers. I find a strong causal impact of peer group size on the number of important compositions written in a given year. Consistent with theory, the productivity gain eventually decreases and is characterized by an inverted U-shaped relationship. These results are robust to a large series of tests, including checks for quality of peers, city characteristics, various measures of composers’ productivity, and across different estimations in which also time-varying birth centrality measures are used as instrumental variables.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark in its series Discussion Papers of Business and Economics with number 13/2013.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: 16 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2013_013

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Postal: Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Phone: 65 50 32 33
Fax: 65 50 32 37
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Web page: http://www.sdu.dk/ivoe
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Keywords: Agglomeration economies; density effects; peer effects; productivity; urban history; cities; composer;

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  1. Karol Jan Borowiecki, 2013. "Conflict-induced migration of composers: an individual-level study," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 7(3), pages 237-266, September.
  2. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2003. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20008, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Federico Cingano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Identifying the Sources of Local Productivity Growth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 474, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  4. BOUCEKKINE, Raouf & PEETERS, Dominique & de la CROIX, David, . "Early literacy achievements, population density and the transition to modern growth," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1911, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Fabian Waldinger, 2010. "Quality Matters: The Expulsion of Professors and the Consequences for PhD Student Outcomes in Nazi Germany," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(4), pages 787-831, 08.
  6. Mark Lorenzen & Kristina Vaarst Andersen, 2009. "Centrality and Creativity: Does Richard Florida's Creative Class Offer New Insights into Urban Hierarchy?," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(4), pages 363-390, October.
  7. Falck, Oliver & Fritsch, Michael & Heblich, Stephan, 2011. "The phantom of the opera: Cultural amenities, human capital, and regional economic growth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 755-766.
  8. E. Marrocu & R. Paci, 2010. "Education or Creativity: what matters most for economic performance?," Working Paper CRENoS 201031, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  9. Borowiecki, Karol Jan, 2011. "Geographic Clustering and Productivity: An Instrumental Variable Approach for Classical Composers," Annual Conference 2011 (Frankfurt, Main): The Order of the World Economy - Lessons from the Crisis 48738, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  10. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Jialan Wang, 2008. "Superstar Extinction," NBER Working Papers 14577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fabian Waldinger, 2012. "Peer Effects in Science: Evidence from the Dismissal of Scientists in Nazi Germany," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 838-861.
  12. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  13. Karlsson, Charlie, 2010. "Clusters, Networks and Creativity," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 235, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  14. Karol Jan Borowiecki, 2012. "Are composers different? Historical evidence on conflict-induced migration (1816-1997)," European Review of Economic History, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 270-291, August.
  15. Karol Jan BOROWIECKI & John W. O'HAGAN, 2011. "Historical Patterns Based on Automatically Extracted Data: the Case of Classical Composers," Trinity Economics Papers tep1411, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  16. Karol Borowiecki & John O’Hagan, 2013. "Impact of war on individual life-cycle creativity: tentative evidence in relation to composers," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 347-358, August.
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