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Coworking Spaces in La Paz, Bolivia: Urban Effects and Potential Creation of New Opportunities for Local Economic Development

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  • Lucas DuPriest

    () (Consultor Privado)

Abstract

This paper investigates the location patterns of coworking spaces, the effects of coworking spaces on the local and urban context, and coworking spaces potential opportunities for the creation of local economic development, issues that have been neglected in a Bolivian context by the existing literature. The focus of this paper is on La Paz, Bolivia’s political capital and the city in Bolivia which host the largest number of coworking spaces. The paper addresses three main questions: (1) Where are the main locations of coworking spaces in La Paz? (2) to what extent do coworking spaces generate transformative effects on the local respectively the urban scale? (e.g. physical transformations, changes in practices, community building) (3) how do coworking spaces create potential opportunities for local economic development? Desk research demonstrated that location patterns of coworking spaces are concentrated to two main commercial areas of the city, as well as to the main infrastructural and transportation axes. Field research highlighted local and urban effects, such as local community initiatives and micro-urban transformations in both spaces and practices. Lastly, field research assessed coworking spaces role in the socio-economic ecosystem. Three main typologies have been identified: the first type of coworking spaces act as “social entrepreneurship and start-up incubators” with a supportive role and closer ties to social and urban issues, the second type of coworking spaces act as “coffee and cowork incubators” providing cafés with shared workspaces, the third type of coworking spaces act as “real estate business incubators” and are mainly a commercial product responding the demand for flexible office spaces. This paper, therefore, helps to fill the gap in the literature about the location patterns of these new working spaces and their effects at different scales both in terms of spaces and practices, as well as local economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucas DuPriest, 2019. "Coworking Spaces in La Paz, Bolivia: Urban Effects and Potential Creation of New Opportunities for Local Economic Development," Development Research Working Paper Series 07/2019, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:adv:wpaper:201907
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    File URL: http://www.inesad.edu.bo/pdf/wp2019/wp07_2019.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
    2. Timothy J. Kehoe & Carlos Gustavo Machicado & José Peres-Cajías, 2019. "The Monetary and Fiscal History of Bolivia, 1960–2017," NBER Working Papers 25523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ricarda B. Bouncken & Andreas J. Reuschl, 2018. "Coworking-spaces: how a phenomenon of the sharing economy builds a novel trend for the workplace and for entrepreneurship," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 317-334, January.
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    6. Stefania Fiorentino, 2019. "Different typologies of ‘co-working spaces’ and the contemporary dynamics of local economic development in Rome," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(9), pages 1768-1790, September.
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    9. Pratt, Andy C., 2008. "Creative cities: the cultural industries and the creative class," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20704, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coworking spaces; sharing economy; location patterns; urban effects; local economic development; innovation.;

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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