Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 1: Complexity, scientific creativity and clustering
By the late 1960s, economists and policymakers realized that manufacturing employment was stagnating in many of the most developed countries. In a pioneering study of the American economy, Fritz Machlup (1980) concludes that what he calls the “knowledge industry” already accounted for close to 30 percent of America’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the 1970s. Using a definition of knowledge-producing occupations that included both occupations assumed to produce new knowledge and those involved in transferring knowledge and information, Machlup also showed that this group of occupations had grown faster than other groups for several decades. åke Andersson (1985) provides a broad historical overview of creativity, infrastructural change and economic growth, suggesting that an assessment of the relative knowledge orientation of an economy should exclude occupations that focus on information transmission. Andersson’s definition of “knowledge-handling occupations” is thus a subset of Machlup’s knowledge-producing occupations, and mainly consists of workers in education, research and the arts. Andersson and Persson (1993) show that the number of workers in this occupational category is growing faster than other categories in Sweden and other advanced economies. In a more detailed study of different industries, Christer Anderstig and Björn Hårsman (1986) show that the percentage of “knowledge-handlers” is increasing in manufacturing as well as in services; they further show that this expansion is fastest in large metropolitan areas.