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Red Cities, Blue Cities: Creativity, Growth and Politics

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  • Thomas Tiemann

    () (Department of Economics, Elon University)

  • Cassandra DiRienzo

    () (Department of Economics, Elon University)

  • Jayoti Das

    () (Department of Economics, Elon University)

Abstract

The 2006 Congressional elections seemed to be about change, as well as the war in Iraq. The 2008 Presidential election, though only at the primary stage, seems to be about change as well as the war in Iraq and the faltering economy. What is the force behind Americans wanting “change?” Is it simply frustration or is it because of important changes in the economy and the demography of the United States? In his 2002 book, Richard Florida looked at one of those changes and developed a “creativity index” measuring the existence of creative people, economic activity, and cultural tolerance for Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the U.S. This study looks at the connection between the rise of the creative class, economic growth and voting patterns. We find that more creative metropolitan areas grow faster on average and creative areas are more likely to have voted Democratic in the past. Even after controlling for union membership, the presence of creative people explains how metropolitan areas voted in the 2004 Presidential election, hinting at one force behind Americans’ desire for political change.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Tiemann & Cassandra DiRienzo & Jayoti Das, 2008. "Red Cities, Blue Cities: Creativity, Growth and Politics," Working Papers 2008-02, Elon University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:elo:wpaper:2008-02
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    File URL: http://org.elon.edu/econ/WPS/wp2008-02.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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