Migration of the creative class: evidence from Sweden
Authors: Hansen, Høgni Kalsø; Niedomysl, Thomas
Source: Journal of Economic Geography, Volume 9, Number 2, 4 March 2009 , pp. 191-206(16)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:A central element in contemporary regional development strategies is the ability for regions to attract and retain talented people. The underlying argument is that by attracting talented people, regions are better geared to meet the demand of competences of the knowledge economy and become more competitive. This article focuses on the migration of the creative class in Sweden. Three questions, central to recent theoretical claims but until now overlooked, are addressed: (i) Do members of the creative class move more often compared to other migrant groups? (ii) Are they more selective in their destination choices, favouring regions with a favourable ‘people climate’? (iii) Do their reasons for migration differ from those of other migrant groups? Employing unique Swedish survey and register data, the results show that the migration rates of the creative class are only marginally higher than for other groups. The results, moreover, show that most migration activities for the creative class take place just after finishing university and that the creative class people move for jobs rather than place. The presented empirical findings of the article do not support central theoretical arguments about the mobility of the creative class. In light of these findings, the article concludes with discussing why the creative class theory has become so influential despite the lack of empirical evidence.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2009-03-04
- The aims of the Journal of Economic Geography are to redefine and reinvigorate the intersection between economics and geography, and to provide a world-class journal in the field. The journal is steered by a distinguished team of Editors and an Editorial Board, drawn equally from the two disciplines. It publishes original academic research and discussion of the highest scholarly standard in the field of 'economic geography' broadly defined. Submitted papers are refereed, and are evaluated on the basis of their creativity, quality of scholarship, and contribution to advancing understanding of the geographic nature of economic systems and global economic change.