DP12365 Creativity over Time and Space

Author(s): Michel Serafinelli, Guido Tabellini
Publication Date: October 2017
Keyword(s): agglomeration, Gravity, Immigration, Innovation, Political Institutions
JEL(s): J61, N13, O10, R10
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Economic History, Macroeconomics and Growth
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12365

Creativity is often highly concentrated in time and space, and across different domains. What explains the formation and decay of clusters of creativity? In this paper we match data on thousands of notable individuals born in Europe between the XIth and the XIXth century with historical data on city institutions and population. After documenting several stylized facts, we show that the formation of creative clusters is not preceded by increases in city size. Instead, the emergence of city institutions protecting economic and political freedoms facilitates the attraction and production of creative talent