Sternberg, Rolf: Learning from the Past? Why 'Creative Industries' can hardly be Created by Local/Regional Government Policies. In: Erde 143 (2012), Nr. 4, S. 293-315. DOI:
US regional economist Richard Florida has developed simple, but very popular ideas to foster regional economic growth: attracting and haltening of members of the so-called 'creative class' by steering the focus of local government development policies for culture, tolerance (towards ethnic and other kinds of minorities) and knowledge. Members of the creative class, characterised by indicators of talent, technology and tolerance, should feel at home in the cities - the result of which would be that creatives either stay in the city where they already lived before or move to those cities which possess the named characteristics. The larger the number of creative people in a city, the better the economic performance of the city. Why that? Because, as Florida postulates, creative people produce economic value added for the region where they live as they more often (than non-creative people) start successful firms and more often engage in high-growth sectors of the economy. Furthermore they are assumed - as an aggregate - to be able to attract existent firms: 'jobs follow (creative) people' instead of 'people follow jobs' to cite an old, but - thanks to Florida - still modern debate among economists. As Florida in his own empirical studies focuses on U. S. metropolitan areas only, there is a need to close the significant research gap in terms of empirical evidence outside the U. S., given the great popularity of his ideas among policy-makers outside the U. S. In the paper five of Florida's main hypotheses are discussed in an explorative approach based upon the available literature. None of these hypotheses receive sufficient support. Consequently, it will hardly be possible to create creative industries by developing related government policies. Comparing government policies in favour of creative industries with government policies of former eras (when, e. g., clusters or high-tech regions belonged to the targets of such policies) there is not much empirical evidence that policy-makers are able or even willing to learn from previous experiences - and failures.
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