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Patterns and drivers of cultural economy in Spain’s extra-metropolitan small towns


  • Escalona Orcao, Ana Isabel

    () (University of Zaragoza)

  • Sáez Pérez, Luis Antonio

    () (University of Zaragoza)

  • Sánchez-Valverde García, Belén

    () (University of Zaragoza)


Research on the location of cultural and creative firms has traditionally focused on large cities, but small towns are also likely to hold them. This work investigates which factors determine cultural specialisation in a group of 46 extrametropolitan Spanish towns with 30-50,000 inhabitants. We consider factors related to markets and government policies —hard factors— and new factors related to amenities, tolerance, and the local climate —soft factors—. When we check them statistically, the greatest explanatory power is attributed to some hard-type factors such as economic activity and human capital, as well as the distance to urban markets. In contrast, the expectations raised by the soft factors are not confirmed.

Suggested Citation

  • Escalona Orcao, Ana Isabel & Sáez Pérez, Luis Antonio & Sánchez-Valverde García, Belén, 2017. "Patterns and drivers of cultural economy in Spain’s extra-metropolitan small towns," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 38, pages 27-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:invreg:0346

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carl Grodach & Elizabeth Currid-Halkett & Nicole Foster & James Murdoch III, 2014. "The location patterns of artistic clusters: A metro- and neighborhood-level analysis," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 51(13), pages 2822-2843, October.
    2. Boix, Rafael & Lazzeretti, Luciana, 2012. "Creative industries in Spain: a first view," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 22, pages 181-206.
    3. Ann Markusen & Greg Schrock, 2006. "The Artistic Dividend: Urban Artistic Specialisation and Economic Development Implications," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 43(10), pages 1661-1686, September.
    4. Richard Florida & Charlotta Mellander & Peter J. Rentfrow, 2013. "The Happiness of Cities," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(4), pages 613-627, April.
    5. David Mcgranahan & Timothy Wojan, 2007. "Recasting the Creative Class to Examine Growth Processes in Rural and Urban Counties," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 197-216.
    6. Lucio Carlos Freire-Gibb & Kristian Nielsen, 2014. "Entrepreneurship Within Urban and Rural Areas: Creative People and Social Networks," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 139-153, January.
    7. Devesa Fernández, María & Herrero Prieto, Luis César & Sanz Lara, José Ángel, 2009. "Análisis económico de la demanda de un festival cultural/," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 27, pages 139-160, Abril.
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    More about this item


    cultural economy; cultural clusters; extra-metropolitan areas; small towns; Spain;

    JEL classification:

    • L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General


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