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Designing for a living? Income determinants among firm founders in the Dutch design sector

Listed author(s):
  • Arthur Vankan
  • Koen Frenken

    ()

  • Carolina Castaldi

    ()

Many studies have analysed the role of the creative class and cultural industries in fostering regional development. The focus on regional development neglects the individual differences in success among members in the creative class and among firms within cultural industries. We study firm founders in three design sectors (industrial design, graphic design and web design) and analyse the determinants of their personal income. Next to individual factors affecting income differences among designers, we look at the relational and spatial contexts in which designers operate. Hence, we can also assess whether spatial clustering and organisational networking are beneficial for designers. The main result, based on 200 telephonic questionnaires, holds that income is determined mainly by business experience and the use of advanced ICTs, while education and spatial clustering have no impact. We argue that policies in the design sector should be oriented towards helping young designers to gain experience as well as towards life-long learning in the use of ICTs.

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Paper provided by Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies in its series Working Papers with number 12-05.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision: Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:ein:tuecis:1205
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  1. Barbara Heebels & Ron Boschma, 2011. "Performing in Dutch book publishing 1880--2008: the importance of entrepreneurial experience and the Amsterdam cluster," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(6), pages 1007-1029, November.
  2. Ronald V. Kalafsky, 2006. "Performance And Practice: Examining The Machine Tool Industries Of Japan And The United States," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 97(2), pages 178-194, April.
  3. Walsh, Vivien, 1996. "Design, innovation and the boundaries of the firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 509-529, June.
  4. Peter Sunley & Steven Pinch & Suzanne Reimer & James Macmillen, 2008. "Innovation in a creative production system: the case of design," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(5), pages 675-698, September.
  5. Elisa Giuliani, 2007. "The selective nature of knowledge networks in clusters: evidence from the wine industry," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 139-168, March.
  6. Vida Vanchan & Alan MacPherson, 2008. "The Recent Growth Performance of US Firms in the Industrial Design Sector: An Exploratory Study," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 1-17.
  7. Steven Klepper, 2002. "The capabilities of new firms and the evolution of the US automobile industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 645-666, August.
  8. Allen Scott, 2006. "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Industrial Development: Geography and the Creative Field Revisited," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 1-24, February.
  9. Asheim, Bjorn T. & Coenen, Lars, 2005. "Knowledge bases and regional innovation systems: Comparing Nordic clusters," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1173-1190, October.
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