Creativity Over Time and Space - a Historical Analysis of European Cities

85 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2021

See all articles by Michel Serafinelli

Michel Serafinelli

University of Essex

Guido Tabellini

Bocconi University - Department of Economics; Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research; Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo)

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

Creativity is often highly concentrated in time and space, and across different domains. What explains the formation and decay of clusters of creativity? We match data on notable individuals born in Europe between the XIth and the XIXth century with historical city data. The production and attraction of creative talent is associated with city institutions that protected economic and political freedoms and promoted local autonomy. Instead, indicators of local economic conditions such as city size and real wages, do not predict creative clusters. We also show that famous creatives are spatially concentrated and clustered across disciplines, that their spatial mobility has remained stable over the centuries, and that creative clusters are persistent but less than population.

JEL Classification: R100, O100, J610, J240

Suggested Citation

Serafinelli, Michel and Tabellini, Guido, Creativity Over Time and Space - a Historical Analysis of European Cities (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 8973, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3819094 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3819094

Michel Serafinelli (Contact Author)

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Guido Tabellini

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

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