Research in Economics: Is Tourism good for Locals? Evidence from Barcelona

Rocio MedereThe Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics welcomed Dr. Rocio Medere, Assistant Professor of Economics, Southern Methodist University on November 4.  Dr. Medere is the economist who asked the research question, “Is tourism good for locals?”

According to Dr. Meder, “We embed a Ricardo-Viner framework into a rich urban geography and show that the welfare impact of shocks depends only on (1) the spatial patterns of consumption and income; and (2) the price and wage effects of the shock throughout the city. We use spatially disaggregated consumption and income data to estimate the price and wage effects of Barcelona’s tourist boom.” You can view her lecture here on YouTube.

The research identifies these effects using an identification strategy based on monthly variation in the aggregate composition of tourists’ origin. On average, local workers suffer slightly from tourism, but these average effects mask substantial heterogeneity across space, ranging from a -19 to a +4 percent welfare change between low and high tourist seasons. The inner city residents bear the largest price changes but enjoy the largest income gains, whereas peripheric neighborhoods suffer lower but sizable price changes with none to moderate income benefits.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics organizes faculty seminars to provide Allegheny College and visiting faculty the opportunities to give presentations based on their research agendas. Students, faculty and staff attend to learn more about cutting-edge research.