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The Origins of Creativity: The Case of the Arts in the United States since 1850

Author

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  • Karol J. Borowiecki

    () (Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark)

Abstract

This research illuminates the historical development of creative activity in the United States. Census data is used to identify creative occupations (i.e., artists, musicians, authors, actors) and data on prominent creatives, as listed in a comprehensive biographical compendium. The analysis rst sheds light on the socio-economic background of creative people and how it has changed since 1850. The results indicate that the proportion of female creatives is relatively high, time constraints can be a hindrance for taking up a creative occupation, racial inequality is present and tends to change only slowly, and education plays a signi cant role for taking up a creative occupation. Second, the study systematically documents and quanti es the geography of creative clusters in the United States and explains how these have evolved over time and across creative domains. Third, it investigates the importance of outstanding talent in a discipline for the local growth of an artistic cluster.

Suggested Citation

  • Karol J. Borowiecki, 2019. "The Origins of Creativity: The Case of the Arts in the United States since 1850," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-02-2019, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Mar 2019.
  • Handle: RePEc:cue:wpaper:awp-02-2019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Oliver Falck & Michael Fritsch & Stephan Heblich & Anne Otto, 2018. "Music in the air: estimating the social return to cultural amenities," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 42(3), pages 365-391, August.
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    5. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Creativity; artists; geographic clustering; agglomeration economies; urban history;

    JEL classification:

    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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