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 412: Creativity, Clusters and the Competitive Advantage of Cities

Roger Martin (), Richard Florida (), Melissa Pogue () and Charlotta Mellander ()
Additional contact information
Roger Martin: Martin Prosperity Institute & University of Toronto
Richard Florida: Martin Prosperity Institute & University of Toronto
Melissa Pogue: Martin Prosperity Institute & University of Toronto
Charlotta Mellander: Jönköping International Business School, & Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

Abstract: Purpose – The article marries Michael Porter’s industrial cluster theory of traded and local clusters to Richard Florida’s occupational approach of creative and routine workers to gain a better understanding of the process of economic development. By combining these two approaches, four major industrial-occupational categories are identified. The shares of U.S. Employment in each – creative-in-traded, creative-in-local, routine-in-traded and routine-in-local – are calculated and a correlation analysis is used to examine the relationship of each to regional economic development indicators. Our findings show that economic growth and development is positively related to employment in the creative-in-traded category. While metros with a higher share of creative-in-traded employment enjoy higher wages and incomes overall, these benefits are not experienced by all worker categories. The share of creative-in-traded employment is also positively and significantly associated with higher inequality. After accounting for higher median housing costs, routine workers in both traded and local industries are found to be relatively worse off in metros with high shares of creative-in-traded employment, on average.

Keywords: Creativity; clusters; cities; metros; occupations; regional development

JEL-codes: J30; O10; R10

24 pages, June 24, 2015

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