Geographies of Growth
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Geographies of Growth

Innovations, Networks and Collaborations

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Lina Bjerke

Today we can observe an increasing spatial divide as some large urban regions and many more medium-sized and small regions face growing problems such as decreasing labour demand, increasing unemployment and an ageing population. In view of these trends, this book offers a better understanding of the general characteristics and specific drivers of the geographies of growth. It shows how these may vary in different spatial contexts, how hurdles and barriers to growth in different types of regions can be dealt with, how and to what extent resources in different areas can develop, and how the potential of these resources to stimulate growth can be realized.
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Chapter 13: Creative class vs. individual creativity: a multi-level approach to the geography of creativity

Innovations, Networks and Collaborations

Christoph Alfken


For more than ten years, the topics of creative class, creative industries and creative regions have been on the agenda of economic geography literature. The studies mainly focus on the distribution, mobility and economic impact of creative individuals or companies from a regional perspective. Above all, it is the work of Florida that pays attention to creative individuals. His quantitative occupational approach is considered to be the prototype and dominant method and was adopted in a wide range of other studies (Florida and Mellander, 2010; Florida, 2002a, 2002c, 2005, 2008; Florida et al., 2008; Lee et al., 2004). More recently, a growing body of literature is empirically testing Florida’s hypotheses for regions outside the U.S. (Boschma and Fritsch, 2009; Clifton, 2008; Clifton et al., 2013; Fritsch and Stutzer, 2009, 2013; Marlet and Van Woerkens, 2007; Marrocu and Paci, 2012a, 2012b; Mossig, 2011; Wedemeier, 2010; Westlund and Calidoni, 2010). However, the occupational approach raised criticism and remains unclear (Glaeser, 2005; Markusen, 2006; Peck, 2005; Pratt, 2008; Storper and Scott, 2008). Previous studies empirically relied on occupation or industry-based definitions as a means to identify creative individuals and aggregate regional numbers (e.g. share of creative class). Thus, results can be potentially distorted. Instead of observing the behaviour of creative individuals, there are occupation or industry-specific characteristics in a region that might correlate with a concentration of creative individuals (Storper and Scott, 2008).

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