The neglected heterogeneity of spatial agglomeration and co-location patterns of creative employment: evidence from Portugal
Empirical literature on the geographic location of creative activities is mostly based on the spatial analysis of industries, disregarding the creative employment that lies outside the necessarily limited boundaries of creative industries. In this paper, we analyse agglomeration and co-location patterns of core creative activities by considering both ‘embedded’ (creative professionals working outside the creative sectors) and ‘specialized’ (creative professionals working in the creative sectors) creative employment. Using location quotients and principal component factor and cluster analyses, applied to all 308 Portuguese municipalities, for ten core creative groups, we found that the geographical agglomeration and co-location patterns of these core creative groups differ substantially. The typical arguments sustained by literature - the tendency of creative industries/ employment to agglomerate and co-locate in large metropolises - are only supported in the case of knowledge-intensive activities subjected to Intellectual Property Rights, most notably ‘Advertising/ Marketing’, ‘Publishing’, ‘TV/ Radio’, and ‘Software/ Digital Media’, densely concentrated and co-located in highly developed, large urban centres, with high levels of human capital. These arguments do not hold for the traditional creative activities of ‘Architecture’, ‘Design/ Visual Arts’ and ‘Crafts’, which, although co-located, appear mostly dispersed with small concentrations around intermediate urban centres. ‘Teaching/ training/ research’ present quite dispersed geographical patterns with some clusterization around municipalities with tertiary education institutions. ‘Film/ video/ photography’ and ‘Music/ Performing arts’ show some dispersion throughout the Portuguese territory with concentration around small urban centres and in rural areas. It is evident that, from agglomeration to co-location patterns, creative employment reveals heterogeneous characteristics across creative groups. Indeed, the results obtained show that the differentiated (co)location patterns of creative activities are mainly a regional phenomenon distinguishing regions within the same country, and not only an aspect differentiating countries in international comparisons.
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