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Opera: The Economic Stimulus That Lasts for Centuries

Highly skilled workers want some Wagner with their jobs
Oksana Dyka, above, and Marcelo Alvarez sing as Aida and Radames in the new production of "Aida" at the Bastille Opera in Paris, France, in this handout photo taken on Oct. 7, 2013.
Photographer: Elisa Haberer/Opera de Paris via Bloomberg

Building an opera house to stimulate an economy may be an odd idea -- though not necessarily a bad one. In fact, more than 200 years after they were built, opera houses in Germany may still be helping their local economies.

That's the conclusion of a new study by economists in Germany and the U.K. that found that cultural amenities such as a place to enjoy Wagner's Ring Cycle are an important component in decisions by high-skilled workers about where to live.