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The Wrong Stuff? Creative Class Theory and Economic Performance in UK Cities

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  • Nathan, Max

Abstract

Richard Florida’s ‘creative class’ theory suggests that diverse, tolerant, ‘cool’ cities will outperform others. Ethnic minorities, gay people and counter-culturalists attract high-skilled professionals: the presence of this ‘creative class’ ensures cities get the best jobs and most dynamic companies. This paper examines Florida’s ideas, focusing on the evidence in British cities. Drawing on previously published work, it first tests the Florida model on a set of British cities, finding weak support for the creative class hypothesis. It then examines this hypothesis in detail. It finds little evidence of a creative class, and little evidence that ‘creative’ cities do better. The paper concludes that the creative class model is a poor predictor of UK city performance. There is other, stronger evidence that diversity and creativity are linked to urban economic growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 29486.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2007
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Publication status: Published in Canadian Journal of Regional Science XXX.3(2007): pp. 433-450
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29486

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Related research

Keywords: cities; economic development; urban economics; creative class; diversity; culture; creativity;

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References

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  1. Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Giovanni Peri, 2004. "The Economic Value of Cultural Diversity: Evidence from US Cities," NBER Working Papers 10904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2000. "Power Couples: Changes In The Locational Choice Of The College Educated, 1940-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1287-1315, November.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz, 2001. "Consumer city," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1), pages 27-50, January.
  4. Ann Markusen, 2006. "Urban development and the politics of a creative class: evidence from a study of artists," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 38(10), pages 1921-1940, October.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2006. "Urban Resurgence and the Consumer City," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 43(8), pages 1275-1299, July.
  6. Jamie Peck, 2005. "Struggling with the Creative Class," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 740-770, December.
  7. Patricia Rice & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Spatial Determinants of Productivity: Analysis for the Regions of Great Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0642, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2003. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 20008, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2002. "Deconstructing Clusters: Chaotic Concept or Policy Panacea," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers, ESRC Centre for Business Research wp244, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
  10. Max Nathan & Adam Marshall, 2006. "Them and us," Public Policy Review, Institute for Public Policy Research, Institute for Public Policy Research, vol. 13(2), pages 109-118.
  11. Nathan, Max, 2007. "The Wrong Stuff? Creative Class Theory and Economic Performance in UK Cities," MPRA Paper 29486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Cited by:
  1. Neil Lee & Max Nathan, 2011. "Does cultural diversity help innovation in cities: evidence from London firms," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 33579, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Annie Tubadji, 2012. "Culture-based development: empirical evidence for Germany," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 39(9), pages 690-703, July.
  3. Nathan, Max, 2007. "The Wrong Stuff? Creative Class Theory and Economic Performance in UK Cities," MPRA Paper 29486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Joachim Möller & Annie Tubaji, 2008. "The Creative Class, Bohemians and Local Labor Market Performance - A Micro-data Panel Study for Germany 1975-2004," Working Papers, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies) 270, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  5. Igor Dubina & Elias Carayannis & David Campbell, 2012. "Creativity Economy and a Crisis of the Economy? Coevolution of Knowledge, Innovation, and Creativity, and of the Knowledge Economy and Knowledge Society," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, March.
  6. Mark Partridge & Rose Olfert, 2011. "The Winners' Choice: Sustainable Economic Strategies for Successful 21st Century Regions," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1655, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Emanuela Marrocu & Raffaele Paci, 2011. "Education or just Creativity: what matters most for economic performance?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p199, European Regional Science Association.
  8. Annie Tubadji & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "Cultural Distance and Gravity Effects among Migrants," ERSA conference papers ersa13p484, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Roberto Antonietti, 2012. "From creativity to innovativeness: micro evidence from Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa12p423, European Regional Science Association.
  10. Amitrajeet Batabyal & Hamid Beladi, 2014. "A model of trade between creative regions in the presence of sector specific learning by doing," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 573-585, July.

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