Journal Article

Are composers different? Historical evidence on conflict-induced migration (1816–1997)

Karol Jan Borowiecki

in European Review of Economic History

Volume 16, issue 3, pages 270-291
Published in print August 2012 | ISSN: 1361-4916
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1474-0044 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ereh/hes001
Are composers different? Historical evidence on conflict-induced migration (1816–1997)

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In this paper, we explore whether, and to what extent, the incidence of war affects the migration intensity of 164 prominent classical composers born after 1800. We model the aggregate stock of composers in a country and find that periods of war correspond negatively with the number of artists. We also find that conflict-induced migration intensity is considerably higher for composers than for the overall population and demonstrate that the share of composers in the overall population drops due to the incidence of war. We further find that the observed outmigration substantially diminishes the country's creative potential in the long run.

Journal Article.  10055 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Industrial History ; Labour History ; Economic History

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