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Does Culture Affect Local Productivity and Urban Amenities?

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  • Brahim Boualam

Abstract

Does a better cultural milieu make a city more livable for residents and improve its business environment for firms? I compute a measure of cultural specialization for 346 U.S. metropolitan areas and ask if differences in cultural environment capitalize into housing price and wage differentials. Simple correlations replicate standard results from the literature: cities that are more specialized in cultural occupations enjoy higher factor prices. Estimations using time-series data, controlling for city characteristics and correcting for endogeneity weaken the magnitude of this effect. Even though the arts and culture might be appealing to some people and firms, such determinants are not strong enough to affect factor prices at the city level.

Suggested Citation

  • Brahim Boualam, 2014. "Does Culture Affect Local Productivity and Urban Amenities?," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 14012a, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
  • Handle: RePEc:gen:geneem:14012a
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    Cited by:

    1. Yulia Chikish & Brad R. Humphreys & Crocker H. Liu & Adam Nowak, 2017. "Professional Sports Events, Concerts, and Urban Place Based Policy: Evidence from the Staples Center," Working Papers 17-32, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    2. Stefan Leknes, 2014. "Quality of life and population size: Causal evidence with historical mines," Working Paper Series 15714, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
    3. Dalvai, Wilfried, 2016. "Urban cultural amenities and the migration of the creative class," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 143, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    4. Leknes, Stefan, 2015. "The more the merrier? Evidence on quality of life and population size using historical mines," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 1-17.
    5. repec:eee:regeco:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:39-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0835-4 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Urban economics; location choice; local amenities; culture.;

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