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The Phantom of the Opera: Cultural Amenities, Human Capital, and Regional Economic Growth

  • Oliver Falck
  • Michael Fritsch
  • Stephan Heblich

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

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-Ifo_Working_Papers/wp-ifo-2005-2010/IfoWorkingPaper-88.pdf
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Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper Nr. 88.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_88
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  17. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  18. Bartik, Timothy J. & Smith, V. Kerry, 1987. "Urban amenities and public policy," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 31, pages 1207-1254 Elsevier.
  19. Jordan Rappaport, 2003. "Moving to nice weather," Research Working Paper RWP 03-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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