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Booming Bohemia? Evidence from the US High-Technology Industry


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  • David Bieri


This paper assesses the effect of Richard Florida's creative class on economic growth and development at two levels of spatial aggregation. First, I examine the dynamics of economic growth across US metropolitan regions and investigate how they relate to regional specialization and the concentration of talent in the high-tech industry. In addition to evidence of significant high-tech clusters, I identify important complementarities with regard to the interaction between the three Ts of regional development (talent, technology and tolerance) and regional growth dynamics. Using firm-level data, the regional analysis is then complemented by exploring the location of new high-technology plant openings and their relationship with university research and development (R&D) and the creative class. Specifically, I test the hypothesis that both university R&D and the presence of “creativity” generate spillovers which are captured locally in the form of new high-tech establishments, after controlling for important location factors such as local cost, demand and agglomeration economies. While the marginal impacts of increased R&D funding on county probability for new firm formation is modest, the mix of creativity and diversity—as proxied by the Florida measure—appears to be a key driver in the locational choice of new high-tech firms. Separate estimates indicate that these findings hold up across the major high-tech industries in the USA.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Industry and Innovation.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 23-48

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Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:17:y:2010:i:1:p:23-48

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Keywords: Regional growth; firm location; creative class; high-tech industry; R&D;


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Cited by:
  1. Fallah, Belal & Partridge, Mark, 2012. "Geography and high-tech employment growth in U.S. counties," MPRA Paper 38294, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Shelley M. Kimelberg & Elizabeth Williams, 2013. "Evaluating the Importance of Business Location Factors: The Influence of Facility Type," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 44(1), pages 92-117, 03.
  3. Dan Rickman & Belal Fallah & Mark Partridge, 2011. "Geographic Determinants of Hi-Tech Employment Growth in U.S. Counties," ERSA conference papers ersa11p518, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Michael Fritsch & Michael Stützer, 2012. "The Geography of Creative People in Germany revisited," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-065, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.


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