CANCELLED - Public Economics and Policy Seminar - Harry Garretsen (University of Groningen)
The Relevance of Geographical Psychology for Urban and Public Economics: First results and a research agenda
Regional differences in economic and political outcomes can only partially explained by standard economic explanations. One reason for this might be the neglect of the psychological make-up of regions and its citizens. This is the starting point for the new literature on “geographical psychology” that shows the value added of incorporating psychological factors alongside the more standard explanations, More specifically, we will show whether and how personality traits matter for economic growth for a sample of UK cities. We find that neuroticism and conscientiousness, and the traits that account for entrepreneurship culture help to explain urban growth differences. To this end, we can draw on a data set with personality scores of more than 400,000 UK residents. In addition, we will argue that personality traits also add to our understanding of regional economic resilience and political outcomes (e.g Brexit.). We will also discuss the policy implications and the research agenda for geographical psychology.