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A Beam of Light: Media, Tourism and Economic Development

Saumel Nocito (), Marcello Sartarelli and Francesco Sobbrio
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Saumel Nocito: Luiss University

No 2/22, Working Papers from Sapienza University of Rome, DISS

Abstract: Tourism accounts for around one tenth of global GDP.We analyze the impact of entertainment media in drawing tourists to filming municipalities (media multiplier ) and, in turn, the effect of tourism on local economic development (tourism multiplier ). To quantify the media multiplier, we employ a triple-difference empirical strategy exploiting the staggered international release across the EU of Inspector Montalbano, a TV series set in four municipalities of Sicily, a region of Italy. We find that the series release led to a fourfold increase in the number of tourists and boosted tourist expenditure by a factor of 2.5. Furthermore, we provide evidence of positive spillovers in nearby municipalities. To estimate the tourism multiplier, we exploit the interaction between the filming locations and the time-varying share of countries in which the series was aired, to instrument total tourist expenditure at the municipality-time level. Our results show that a 10% increase in total tourist expenditure translates into an increase in municipal income of 4.7%. The paper suggests that both entertainment media and tourism can be effective tools to boost local economic development.

Keywords: Economic Development; Media; Spillovers; Tourism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L83 O12 R10 Z32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-tur and nep-ure
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