Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 57–73 | Cite as

Evaluating three decades of the European Capital of Culture programme: a difference-in-differences approach

  • Pedro GomesEmail author
  • Alejandro Librero-Cano
Original Article


We measure the regional impact of the European Capital of Culture programme using a difference-in-differences approach. We compare the regions of cities that hosted the event with the regions of cities that tried to host it but did not succeed. GDP per capita in hosting regions is 4.5 % higher compared to non-hosting regions during the event, and the effect persists more than 5 years after it. This result suggests that the economic dimension of the event is important and supports claims that the event serves as catalyst for urban regeneration and development.


European Capital of Culture Difference-in-differences Culture-led regeneration 

JEL Classification

R10 R58 Z10 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversidad Carlos III de MadridGetafeSpain
  2. 2.Department of Culture Media and Creative IndustriesKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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