Knowledge in the Development of Economies

Knowledge in the Development of Economies

Institutional Choices Under Globalisation

New Perspectives on the Modern Corporation series

Edited by Silvia Sacchetti and Roger Sugden

This innovative book offers a critical perspective on the state of the current global economy, making sense of knowledge-related issues by critically assessing existing institutional choices, as well as pointing to new ways forward.

Chapter 9: Creativity in Economic Development: Space in an Inferno

Silvia Sacchetti and Roger Sugden

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, institutional economics, regional economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics


Silvia Sacchetti and Roger Sugden The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension; seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space. Calvino, 1972, p. 164 1. INTRODUCTION Previous analysis suggests links between the development of economies and the stimulation of people’s creativity. Both inter- and intra-country variations in development (Henderson et al., 2001) are associated with such links. Over recent years these arguments have often been framed in terms of achieving regional ‘competitiveness’ in a global market economy (Bristow, 2005), for example through innovation in industries in general (Florida, 2002a) and through the success of creative (or cultural) industries in particular (Caves, 2000) . In this chapter, however, we examine the links from a different perspective. Having critically considered recent contributions on the impact of creativity based on accepted notions of competitiveness and prosperity, we offer a novel perspective that stresses a role for ‘publics’ in creatively shaping processes of economic development. The association between creativity and innovation suggested by Florida (2002a) is that places with ‘a high...

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