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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. Falck, Oliver & Fritsch, Michael & Heblich, Stephan, 2011. "The phantom of the opera: Cultural amenities, human capital, and regional economic growth," Munich Reprints in Economics 20513, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "Long Term Persistence," NBER Working Papers 14278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-52, December.
  6. Nico Voigtländer & Joachim Voth, 2011. "Persecution perpetuated: The medieval origins of anti-semitic violence in Nazi Germany," Economics Working Papers 1269, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  7. Karol BOROWIECKI & John O’HAGAN, 2012. "Historical Patterns Based on Automatically Extracted Data : The Case of Classical Composers," Historical Social Research (Section 'Cliometrics'), Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 37(2), pages 298-314.
  8. Diego A. Comin & William Easterly & Erick Gong, 2008. "Was the Wealth of Nations Determined in 1000 B.C.?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-052, Harvard Business School.
  9. Bisin, A. & Verdier, T., 1997. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and the Dynamics of Preferences," DELTA Working Papers 97-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  10. 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.
  11. John O'Hagan & Karol Jan BOROWIECKI, 2009. "Birth Location, Migration and Clustering of Important Composers: Historical Patterns," Trinity Economics Papers tep0115, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2015.
  12. Victoria Ateca-Amestoy, 2008. "Determining heterogeneous behavior for theater attendance," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 127-151, June.
  13. Karol Jan BOROWIECKi & Concetta CASTIGLIONE, 2012. "Cultural Participation and Tourism Flows in Italy," Trinity Economics Papers tep0212, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
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