Imagine Seminar with Karol Borowiecki
Abstract: The importance of creativity is being increasingly recognized by economists, however the possibility that emotional factors determine creative processes are grossly ignored. Building on 1,400 letters written by three famous music composers, I obtain well-being indices that span their lifetime. The validity of this methodology is shown by linking the indices with biographical information and through estimation of the determinants of well-being. I find, consistent with the psychological economics literature, that work-related engagements and accomplishments are positively related with well-being, while poor health or death of a relative are detrimental. I then exploit the data and provide quantitative evidence on the existence of a causal impact of negative emotions on outstanding creativity, an association hypothesized across several disciplines since the Antiquity; however, not yet convincingly established for the case of extraordinary achievers.
Dr Borowiecki is an Associate Professor at the Department of Business and Economics at the University of Southern Denmark. He holds a PhD in Economics from Trinity College Dublin, where he has been also serving as an Adjunct Lecturer and Academic Coordinator. His research interests are mainly in economic history and cultural economics and also touches on urban economics (creative clusters) and labor economics (especially migration of creative people).
You can read the working paper in full here:
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