Journal Article

Accounting for Creativity in the European Union: A multi-level analysis of individual competence, labour market structure, and systems of education and training

Edward Lorenz and Bengt-Åke Lundvall

in Cambridge Journal of Economics

Published on behalf of Cambridge Political Economy Society

Volume 35, issue 2, pages 269-294
Published in print March 2011 | ISSN: 0309-166X
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1464-3545 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cje/beq014
Accounting for Creativity in the European Union: A multi-level analysis of individual competence, labour market structure, and systems of education and training

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Some workplaces offer employees opportunities to creatively use their own ideas while engaged in learning and problem-solving activity without much interference from managers and bosses. In this paper we analyse the preconditions for creative work. Using multilevel logistic modelling we examine what characteristics of the individual, the organisation of work and the national institutional context promote creative work. At the national level we focus on the effects of national education and training systems and labour markets. The analysis demonstrates, not surprisingly, that individuals with higher education and a certain amount of work experience are more likely to have creative jobs. It also shows that creative jobs are more likely at workplaces where managers support employees and where work is organised to promote knowledge diversity. In terms of international differences, we find that creative work tends to be more developed in Scandinavian countries than in the South and East of Europe. Interestingly, we find significant positive relations between the likelihood of creativity at work, on the one hand, and the development of broad competence-based systems of education and labour market flexicurity, on the other. This implies that policy attempts to attract ‘the creative class’ as it has been defined by Richard Florida through promoting diversity should at the national level be combined with the institutional reform of Europe's education systems and labour markets. Such policies may extend the category of creative employees to include significant parts of what Florida defines as ‘the working class’.

Keywords: Creativity; labour market institutions; multi-level logistic analysis; 030; 050

Journal Article.  10119 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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