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The phantom of the opera: Cultural amenities, human capital, and regional economic growth

  • Falck, Oliver
  • Fritsch, Michael
  • Heblich, Stephan

We analyze the extent to which endogenous cultural amenities affect the spatial equilibrium share of high-human-capital employees. To overcome endogeneity, we draw on a quasi-natural experiment in German history and exploit the exogenous spatial distribution of baroque opera houses built as a part of rulers' competition for prestigious cultural sights. Robustness tests confirm our strategy and strengthen the finding that proximity to a baroque opera house significantly affects the spatial equilibrium share of high-human-capital employees. A cross-region growth regression shows that these employees induce local knowledge spillovers and shift a location to a higher growth path.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 755-766

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:6:p:755-766
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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