Max-Planck Institute of Economics
Via Richard Florida’s blog, I found out about a new paper on “The Creative Class and Regional Growth in Europe” by Ron Boschma and Michael Fritsch from the Max-Planck Institute of Economics in Germany. Florida summarises it as follows:

“They’ve assembled cool data on the creative class in 450 city-regions in Europe. And then they used that to identify major creative class centers, the factors which attract the creative class, and effects of the creative class on regional economic development Their findings show that the creative class measures (that is occupations) significantly outperform human capital in economic growth. They also find that the creative class is highly concentrated in Europe. Interestingly they find that urbanization per se is not an important determinant of creative class locations, but rather that active arts and culture scenes (measure by the bohemian index) and a climate of openness and tolerance play key roles. This is careful work by an independent and objective team of scholars which provides powerful confirmation of the power of the creative class theory in explaining regional outcomes.”

The more conventional abstract goes as follows:

“We analyze the regional distribution and the effect of people in creative occupations based on data for more than 450 regions in eight European countries [Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom]. The geographic distribution of the creative class is highly uneven. The creative class is not attracted to highly urbanized regions per se, but rather a climate of tolerance and openness seem to be rather important factors. We find that the creative class has a positive and significant effect on employment growth and new business formation at the regional level. Human capital as measured by creative occupation outperforms indicators that are based on formal education.”

Download paper (pdf, 876 kb, 35 pages)