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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

The role of cultural heritage in attracting skilled individuals

Backman, Mikaela; Nilsson, Pia


The purpose of this paper is to examine the role played by built heritages and cultural environments, alongside other locational factors, in explaining the growth of human capital in Sweden. We distinguish between urban, natural and cultural qualities as different sources of regional attractiveness and estimate their influence on the observed growth of individuals with at least three years of higher education during 2001-2010. Neighborhood-level data are used, and unobserved heterogeneity and spatial dependencies are modeled by employing random effects estimations and an instrumental variable approach. Our findings indicate that the local supply of built heritages and cultural environments explain a significant part of human capital growth in Sweden. Results suggest that these types of cultural heritages are important place-based resources with a potential to contribute to improved regional attractiveness and growth.


Built heritages; Human capital; Regional growth; Multilevel

Published in

Journal of Cultural Economics
2018, volume: 42, number: 1, pages: 111-138

Authors' information

Backman, Mikaela
Jönköping University
Jönköping University

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