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Agglomeration Economies in Classical Music

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  • Karol Jan BOROWIECKI

    () (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Karol Jan BOROWIECKI, 2013. "Agglomeration Economies in Classical Music," Trinity Economics Papers tep0213, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep0213
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    File URL: https://www.tcd.ie/Economics/TEP/2013/TEP0213.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 755-766.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Tobias A. Jopp, 2014. "How did the capital market evaluate Germany’s prospects for winning World War I? Evidence from the Amsterdam market for government bonds," Working Papers 0052, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    3. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2015. "Just add milk: a productivity analysis of the revolutionary changes in nineteenth-century Danish dairying," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 68(4), pages 1132-1153, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Krenz, Astrid, 2014. "Agglomeration of knowledge: A regional economic analysis for the German economy," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 206, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    6. Natacha Postel-Vinay, 2014. "Debt Dilution in 1920s America: Lighting the Fuse of a Mortgage Crisis," Working Papers 0053, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agglomeration economies; density effects; peer effects; productivity; urban history; cities; composer;

    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
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • 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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