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History matters: The origins of cultural supply in Italy

I investigate the consequences of long-run persistence of a societies’ preference towards cultural goods. Historical cultural activity is approximated with the frequency of births of classical composers during the Renaissance and is linked with contemporary supply of cultural activities in Italian provinces. Areas with a one-standard-deviation higher number of composer births expose nowadays up to 0.4 standard deviations higher supply of cultural activities (such as concerts or theater performances). Those provinces seem to exhibit today also a somewhat lower supply of non-cultural activities. The results point at a tantalising divergence in societies’ cultural preferences which is attributable to events rooted long in the past. Furthermore, the findings imply a remarkable persistency of the geography of artistic activity. While human capital is found to be potentially a driver for spill-over effects across different cultural disciplines over time, other unobservable factors, such as societies’ preference traits, determine the persistency within most closely related cultural areas.

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File URL: http://static.sdu.dk/mediafiles//B/3/5/%7BB35CBB3C-637A-40C0-BA91-95EAB19C4386%7Ddpbe15_2012.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark in its series Discussion Papers of Business and Economics with number 15/2012.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: 17 Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2012_015
Contact details of provider: 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
Web page: http://www.sdu.dk/ivoe
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  1. Nico Voigtlaender & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2011. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," NBER Working Papers 17113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2009. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," NBER Working Papers 14783, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," CEPR Discussion Papers 6981, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Filipe Campante & Edward L. Glaeser, 2009. "Yet Another Tale of Two Cities: Buenos Aires and Chicago," NBER Working Papers 15104, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bisin, Alberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2001. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 298-319, April.
  7. Maristella Botticini & Zvi Eckstein, 2007. "From Farmers to Merchants, Conversions and Diaspora: Human Capital and Jewish History," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 885-926, 09.
  8. Oliver Falck & Michael Fritsch & Stephan Heblich, 2010. "The Phantom of the Opera: Cultural Amenities, Human Capital, and Regional Economic Growth," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper Nr. 88, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  9. Diego Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2010. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 BC?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 65-97, July.
  10. Louis Putterman & David N. Weil, 2008. "Post-1500 Population Flows and the Long Run Determinants of Economic Growth and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 14448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Karol Jan BOROWIECKi & Concetta CASTIGLIONE, 2012. "Cultural Participation and Tourism Flows in Italy," Trinity Economics Papers tep0212, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  12. Victoria Ateca-Amestoy, 2008. "Determining heterogeneous behavior for theater attendance," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 127-151, June.
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