A Beam of Light: Media, Tourism and Economic Development

44 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2021 Last revised: 11 May 2021

See all articles by Samuel Nocito

Samuel Nocito

LUISS University

Marcello Sartarelli

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) - Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico | ICAE

Francesco Sobbrio

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Finance; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: April 28, 2021

Abstract

Tourism accounts for around one tenth of global GDP. We analyze the impact of entertainment media in drawing tourists to filming locations (media multiplier) and, in turn, the effect of tourism on local economic development (tourism multiplier). To assess the media multiplier, we employ a triple-difference empirical strategy exploiting the staggered international release across the EU of "Inspector Montalbano", a TV series set in four municipalities of Sicily, a region of Italy. We find that the series release led to a fourfold increase in the number of tourists and boosted tourist expenditure by a factor of 2.5. Furthermore, we provide evidence of positive spillovers in nearby municipalities. To estimate the tourism multiplier, we exploit the interaction between the filming locations and the time-varying share of countries in which the series was aired, to instrument total tourist expenditure at the municipality-time level. Our results show that a 10% increase in total tourist expenditure translates into an increase in municipal income of 4.7%. The paper suggests that both entertainment media and tourism can be powerful tools to boost economic development

Keywords: Media, Tourism, Economic Development

JEL Classification: L82, L83, O12, Z32

Suggested Citation

Nocito, Samuel and Sartarelli, Marcello and Sobbrio, Francesco, A Beam of Light: Media, Tourism and Economic Development (April 28, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3798353 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3798353

Samuel Nocito

LUISS University ( email )

Viale Romania, 32
Rome, Roma 00197
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/samuelnocito/home

Marcello Sartarelli

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) - Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico | ICAE ( email )

Pozuelo, MADRID 28260
Spain

Francesco Sobbrio (Contact Author)

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Via columbia 2
Rome, Rome 00123
Italy

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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