Historical Origins of Cultural Supply in Italy

Discussion Papers on Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, 3/2015

54 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2015

Date Written: February 25, 2015

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.

Keywords: Economic development, Culture, Institutions, Path dependence, Endogenous preferences

JEL Classification: N33, N34, O10, Z1, Z10

Suggested Citation

Borowiecki, Karol, Historical Origins of Cultural Supply in Italy (February 25, 2015). Discussion Papers on Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, 3/2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2569626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2569626

Karol Borowiecki (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

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