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Education or Creativity: What Matters Most for Economic Performance?

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  • Emanuela Marrocu
  • Raffaele Paci

Abstract

There is a large consensus among social researchers on the positive role played by human capital on economic performances. The standard way to measure the human capital endowment is to consider the educational attainments by the resident population, usually the share of people with a university degree. Recently, Florida (2002) suggested a different measure of human capital - the “creative class” - based on the actual occupations of individuals in specific jobs like science, engineering, arts, culture, and entertainment. However, the empirical analyses carried out so far overlooked a serious measurement problem concerning the clear definition of the education and creativity components of human capital. This paper aims to disentangle this issue by proposing a disaggregation of human capital into three non- overlapping categories of creative graduates, bohemians and non creative graduates. Using a spatial error model to account for spatial dependence, we assess the concurrent effect of the human capital indicators on total factor productivity for 257 regions of EU27. Our results indicate that highly educated people working in creative occupations are the most relevant component in explaining production efficiency, non creative graduates exhibit a lower impact, while the bohemians do not show a significant effect on regional performance. Moreover, a significant influence is exerted by technological capital, cultural diversity and industrial and geographical characteristics, thus providing robust evidence that a highly educated, innovative, open and culturally diverse environment is becoming more and more central for productivity enhancements.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Clark University in its journal Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 88 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 369-401

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecgeog:v:88:y:2012:i:4:p:369-401

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Cited by:
  1. Raffaele Paci & Emanuela Marrocu, 2013. "Knowledge Assets and Regional Performance," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 44(2), pages 228-257, 06.
  2. E. Marrocu & R. Paci, 2012. "Regional development and creativity," Working Paper CRENoS 201202, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  3. Karol J. Borowiecki, 2013. "Agglomeration Economies in Classical Music," Working Papers 0047, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  4. Lee, Neil & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2013. "Creativity, cities and innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 9598, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Giorgio D'Agostino & Margherita Scarlato, 2011. "Innovation, Growth and Quality of Life: a Theoretical Model and an Estimate for the Italian Regions," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0138, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
  6. Christoph Alfken & Tom Broekel & Rolf Sternberg, 2013. "Factors explaining the spatial agglomeration of the Creative Class. Empirical evidence for German artists," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-02, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  7. David Audretsch & Maksim Belitski, 2013. "The missing pillar: the creativity theory of knowledge spillover entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 819-836, December.
  8. Winters, John V., 2013. "STEM Graduates, Human Capital Externalities, and Wages in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 7830, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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