Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Tomas Dvorak




arts, performing, ; factors, u.s, china


I ask whether the performing arts industry can thrive in Shenzhen, a metropolitan city in China. I examine the geographic distribution of performing arts companies in the U.S. and China. I hypothesize that demographic and socio-economic factors explain only a small portion of the distribution of the performing arts companies, while cultural, historical and political factors play an important role. The data about the U.S. is collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, while the Chinese data is from the National Bureau of Statistics of China. I find that socio-economic factors explain only about 60% of the variation in the number of performing arts companies in both countries. In contrast, socioeconomic factors explain close to 90% of the variation in the number of gas stations, barber shops and grocery stores in the U.S. These results suggest that historical and cultural characteristics of an area play an important role in the location of performing arts. After examining the city Shenzhen, I reach the conclusion that it enjoys socio-economic advantages on one hand. On the other hand, policy benefits are needed to offset the disadvantages of not having a long history and diverse cultural background for the performing arts industry to thrive in Shenzhen.