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The Phantom of the Opera: Cultural Amenities, Human Capital, and Regional Economic Growth

  • Falck, Oliver

    ()

    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Fritsch, Michael

    ()

    (University of Jena)

  • Heblich, Stephan

    ()

    (University of Bristol)

We analyze the extent to which endogenous cultural amenities affect the spatial equilibrium share of high-human-capital employees. To overcome endogeneity, we draw on a quasi-natural experiment in German history and exploit the exogenous spatial distribution of baroque opera houses built as a part of rulers' competition for prestigious cultural amenities. Robustness tests confirm our strategy and strengthen the finding that proximity to a baroque opera house significantly affects the spatial equilibrium share of high-human-capital employees. Then, a cross-region growth regression shows that these employees induce local knowledge spillovers and shift a location to a higher growth path.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5065.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2011, 18 (6), 755-766
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5065
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