Journal Article

Inside the black box of regional development—human capital, the creative class and tolerance

Richard Florida, Charlotta Mellander and Kevin Stolarick

in Journal of Economic Geography

Volume 8, issue 5, pages 615-649
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 1468-2702
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-2710 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbn023
Inside the black box of regional development—human capital, the creative class and tolerance

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  • Technological Change; Research and Development
  • Demand and Supply of Labour
  • Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
  • Household Analysis

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While there is a general consensus on the importance of human capital to regional development, debate has emerged around two key issues. The first involves the efficacy of educational versus occupational measures (i.e. the creative class) of human capital, while the second revolves around the factors that affect its distribution. We use structural equation models and path analysis to examine the relations from these two alternative measures of human capital and regional income and wages, and also to isolate the relations of tolerance, consumer service amenities and the university on its distribution. We find that human capital and the creative class affect regional development through different channels. The creative class outperforms conventional educational attainment measures in accounting for regional labor productivity measured as wages, while conventional human capital does better in accounting for regional income. We find that tolerance is significantly associated with both human capital and the creative class as well as with wages and income. We also find that the cultural economy has both direct and indirect relationships to regional development and impacts both production and consumption.

Keywords: human capital; creative class; tolerance; wages; income; regional development; O30; R10; R20; J24

Journal Article.  12469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Technological Change; Research and Development ; Demand and Supply of Labour ; Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics ; Household Analysis

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