Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation,
Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

No 79: The Creative Class or Human Capital? - explaining regional development in Sweden

Charlotta Mellander () and Richard Florida ()
Additional contact information
Charlotta Mellander: Jönköping International Business School and CESIS
Richard Florida: School of Public Policy, George Mason University

Abstract: Human capital is observed to be an important contributor to growth but unevenly distributed geographically. While there is consensus on the importance of human capital to economic development, debate takes shape around two central issues. First, there is the question of how best to measure human capital. Second, there is debate over the factors that yield the geographic distribution of human capital in the first place. We find that occupational or “creative class” measures tend to outperform educational measures in accounting for regional development across our sample of Swedish regions. We also find that universities, amenities or service diversity and openness and tolerance affect the distribution of human capital. A key finding is also that each of these factors is associated with a different type of human capital and thus they play complimentary roles in the geographic distribution of talent.

Keywords: Creative occupations; Human Capital; Technology; Economic Development

JEL-codes: J24; O30; R11; R12; R20

38 pages, January 18, 2007

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