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Historical origins of cultural supply in Italy

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Abstract

I investigate the consequences of long-run persistency of a society’s preferences for cultural goods. Historical cultural activity is approximated with the frequency of births of music composers during the Renaissance and is linked with contemporary measures of cultural activity in Italian provinces. Areas with a one percent higher number of composer births nowadays show an up to 0.29% higher supply of classical concerts and 0.16% more opera performances. Classical concerts and opera performances have also rather bigger audiences and obtain greater revenues in provinces that have been culturally active in the past. Today, those provinces also exhibit a somewhat lower supply of other forms of entertainment (e.g., sport events), thereby implying a tantalising divergence in societies’ cultural preferences which is attributable to events rooted in the past. It is also shown that the geography of composer births is remarkably persistent over a period of seven centuries.

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  • Borowiecki, Karol Jan, 2015. "Historical origins of cultural supply in Italy," Discussion Papers of Business and Economics 3/2015, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sdueko:2015_003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Karol Jan Borowiecki & Trilce Navarrete, 2018. "Fiscal and economic aspects of book consumption in the European Union," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 42(2), pages 309-339, May.
    2. Federico Etro & Elena Stepanova, 2016. "Entry of painters in the Amsterdam market of the Golden Age," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 317-348, May.
    3. repec:cup:jechis:v:78:y:2018:i:02:p:500-538_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Etro, Federico, 2018. "The Economics of Renaissance Art," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 78(02), pages 500-538, June.
    5. repec:eee:reecon:v:72:y:2018:i:2:p:313-326 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:bla:scotjp:v:64:y:2017:i:2:p:191-225 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2060-2092, December.
    8. Federico Etro & Elena Stepanova, 2017. "Art Auctions and Art Investment in the Golden Age of British Painting," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 64(2), pages 191-225, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic development; Culture; Institutions; Path dependence; Endogenous preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General

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