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Agglomeration Economies in Classical Music

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This study investigates agglomeration effects for classical music production in a wide range of cities for a global sample of composers born between 1750 and 1899. Theory suggests a trade-off between agglomeration economies (peer effects) and diseconomies (peer crowding). I test this hypothesis using historical data on composers and employ a unique instrumental variable – a measure of birth centrality, calculated as the average distance between a composer’s birthplace and the birthplace of his peers. I find a strong causal impact of peer group size on the number of important compositions written in a given year. Consistent with theory, the productivity gain eventually decreases and is characterized by an inverted U-shaped relationship. These results are robust to a large series of tests, including checks for quality of peers, city characteristics, various measures of composers’ productivity, and across different estimations in which also time-varying birth centrality measures are used as instrumental variables.

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  • Borowiecki, Karol J., 2013. "Agglomeration Economies in Classical Music," Discussion Papers on Economics 13/2013, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2013_013
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    6. Maria Rosaria Alfano & Anna Laura Baraldi & Claudia Cantabene, 2023. "Eppur si muove: an evaluation of museum policy reform in Italy," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 47(1), pages 97-131, March.
    7. Borowiecki, Karol Jan & Kavetsos, Georgios, 2015. "In fatal pursuit of immortal fame: Peer competition and early mortality of music composers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 30-42.
    8. Lukas Kuld & Sara Mitchell & Christiane Hellmanzik, 2021. "Manhattan Transfer: Productivity effects of agglomeration in American authorship," Trinity Economics Papers tep0821, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    9. Arnab Bhattacharjee & Ornella Maietta & Fernanda Mazzotta, 2023. "Spatial agglomeration, innovation and firm survival for Italian manufacturing firms," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 318-345, July.
    10. Roberto Cellini & Tiziana Cuccia & Domenico Lisi, 2020. "Spatial dependence in museum services: an analysis of the Italian case," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 44(4), pages 535-562, December.
    11. Natacha Postel-Vinay, 2014. "Debt Dilution in 1920s America: Lighting the Fuse of a Mortgage Crisis," Working Papers 0053, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    12. Esteves, Rui & Geisler Mesevage, Gabriel, 2019. "Social Networks in Economic History: Opportunities and Challenges," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    13. Leandro Prados De La Escosura, 2016. "Economic freedom in the long run: evidence from OECD countries (1850–2007)," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(2), pages 435-468, May.
    14. Michel Serafinelli & Guido Tabellini, 2022. "Creativity over time and space," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 1-43, March.
    15. Amir B. Ferreira Neto, 2021. "The diffusion of cultural district laws across US States," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 67(1), pages 189-210, August.
    16. de Santana Ribeiro, Luiz Carlos & Carneiro Rios Lopes, Thiago Henrique & Borges Ferreira Neto, Amir & Rodrigues dos Santos, Fernanda, 2019. "Spatial spillovers of the cultural employment growth in Brazilian municipalities," MPRA Paper 91528, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Krenz, Astrid, 2014. "Agglomeration of knowledge: A regional economic analysis for the German economy," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 206, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    18. Luiz Carlos Santana Ribeiro & Thiago Henrique Carneiro Rios Lopes & Amir Borges Ferreira Neto & Fernanda Rodrigues Santos, 2020. "Cultural employment growth in Brazilian municipalities," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 44(4), pages 605-624, December.
    19. Tao, Jin & Ho, Chun-Yu & Luo, Shougui & Sheng, Yue, 2019. "Agglomeration economies in creative industries," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 141-154.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agglomeration economies; density effects; peer effects; productivity; urban history; cities; composer;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N90 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • Z11 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economics of the Arts and Literature

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