Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 219: Music Scenes to Music Clusters - the economic geography of music in the U.S., 1970-2000

Richard Florida , Charlotta Mellander () and Kevin Stolarick
Additional contact information
Richard Florida: Martin Prosperity Institute
Charlotta Mellander: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Kevin Stolarick: Martin Prosperity Institute

Abstract: Where do musicians locate, and why do creative industries such as music continue to cluster? This paper analyzes the economic geography of musicians and the recording industry in the U.S. from 1970 to 2000 to shed light on the locational dynamics of music and creative industries more broadly. We examine the role of scale and scope economies in shaping the clustering and concentration of musicians and music industry firms. We argue that these two forces are bringing about a transformation in the geography of both musicians and music industry firms, evidenced in a shift away from regionally clustered, genrespecific music scenes, such as Memphis or Detroit, toward larger regional centers like New York City and Los Angeles which offer large markets for music employment and concentration of other artistic and cultural endeavors which increase demand for musicians. We use population and income to probe for scale effects, and concentrations of other creative and artistic industries to test for scope effects, while including a range of control variables in our analysis. We use lagged variables to determine if certain places are consistently more successful at fostering concentations of musicians and the music industry and test for path dependency. We find some role for scale and scope effects and that both musicians and the music industry are concentrating in a relatively small number of large regional centers.

Keywords: musicians; recording industry; agglomerations

JEL-codes: R11; R12; Z11

49 pages, February 11, 2010

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