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European capitals of culture and life satisfaction


Steiner, Lasse; Frey, Bruno S; Hotz, Simone (2013). European capitals of culture and life satisfaction. Working paper series / Department of Economics 117, University of Zurich.

Abstract

This paper analyzes whether hosting the most prestigious European cultural event, the European Capital of Culture, has an impact on regional economic development or the life satisfaction of the local population. Concerning the economic impact, we show that European Capitals are hosted in regions with above average GDP per capita, but do not causally affect the economic development in a significant way. Even a positive impact on GDP per capita would not imply a positive impact on individual utility or social welfare of the regional population. Surprisingly, using difference-in-difference estimations, a negative effect on the well-being of the regional population is found during the event. Since no effect is found before the event, reverse causality and positive anticipation can be ruled out. The negative effect during the event might result from dissatisfaction with the high levels of public expenditure, transport disruptions, general overcrowding or an increase in housing prices.

Abstract

This paper analyzes whether hosting the most prestigious European cultural event, the European Capital of Culture, has an impact on regional economic development or the life satisfaction of the local population. Concerning the economic impact, we show that European Capitals are hosted in regions with above average GDP per capita, but do not causally affect the economic development in a significant way. Even a positive impact on GDP per capita would not imply a positive impact on individual utility or social welfare of the regional population. Surprisingly, using difference-in-difference estimations, a negative effect on the well-being of the regional population is found during the event. Since no effect is found before the event, reverse causality and positive anticipation can be ruled out. The negative effect during the event might result from dissatisfaction with the high levels of public expenditure, transport disruptions, general overcrowding or an increase in housing prices.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:H40, H54, R12, Z11, Z18
Uncontrolled Keywords:Life Satisfaction, Mega-Events, Culture, European Capital of Culture
Language:English
Date:April 2013
Deposited On:16 Apr 2013 12:26
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 21:01
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:45
ISSN:1664-7041
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp117.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php

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