This research was conducted by Luis César Herrero, José Ángel Sanz, María Devesa, Ana Bedate and María José del Barrio at the University of Valladolid, Spain


The paper analysed a range of data to calculate the economic impact of the European Capital of Culture coming to Salamanca in the Castilla y León region of Spain.  The use of the Capital of Culture to generate economic benefits and revive cities really began with Glasgow in 1990. Capitals of Culture are difficult to study because of their size, the sheer variety of activities that constitute the overall programme, and the fact the status generates a frenzy of development and fresh policies in the location.

They measured the economic impact using three measures: the first was direct expenses

This was what was spent by the cultural sector in Salamanca on fees, wages, equipment hire etc. They added up the amount of private and pubic spending on cultural activity separately from spending on equipment and infrastructure that might support the cultural offer. They calculated the overall direct expenses to be just over €37m.

The second was indirect expenses

This comprised what visitors to the city spent on accommodation, travel, food, drink etc. This information was gathered through a survey of a sample of visitors to the city combined with details about how many people bought tickets and visited the city. Overall indirect expenses were calculated to be €241,496,062.

The final measure was induced effects

These were calculated using a multiplier arrived at using an input-output instrument that calculated the relationship between economic activity in one sector in one place and its impact more widely. They found induced effects to be €541.7m to Castilla y León region, €108.2m to the rest of Spain and €51.5m abroad. Therefore the overall economic impact of the Salamanca Culture of Capital programme was estimated to be €701.5m (the majority of which was derived through the production and consumption of cultural activities rather than development of buildings and infrastructure).

Title The economic impact of cultural events. A case-study of Salamanca 2002, European Capital of Culture
Author(s) Herrero, L. C., Sanz, J. A., Devesa, M., Bedate, A. & del Barrio, M. J.
Publication date 2006
Source European Urban and Regional Studies, Vol 13, Iss 1, pp 41-57
Author email