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Creativity is central in stimulating economic growth in cities, regions and advanced capitalist economies in general. There is, of course, no one-to-one relation of the number of firms in creative industries to economic growth. Innovation is a key mechanism explaining the relationship of creative industries with economic performance. Based on an empirical study in the Netherlands we explore the effect of creative industries on innovation, and ultimately on employment growth in cities. In the Netherlands the three specific domains of creative industries - arts, media and publishing, and creative business services - make up 9 per cent of the business population. Drawing on survey data we find that firms in creative industries are indeed relatively innovative. Yet substantial differences are found across the three domains: firms in the arts domain are clearly less innovative, most likely due to a different (less market-oriented) dominant ideology. In addition, firms in creative industries located in urban areas are more innovative than their rural counterparts. We go on to analyse how the concentration of creative industries across cities is connected with employment growth. With the exception of the metropolitan city of Amsterdam, we find no measurable spill-over effect from creative industries. The presence of the creative class (in all kinds of industries other than creative ones) appears to be a much stronger driver of employment growth than creative industries.
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Keywords: creative class; creative industries; economic growth; innovation; the Netherlands

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Technology Management, University of Cambridge, Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RX, United Kingdom., Email: [email protected] 2: EIM Business and Policy Research, ItaliĆ«laan 33, P.O. Box 7001, NL-2701 AA Zoetermeer, The Netherlands., Email: [email protected] 3: Stichting Atlas voor gemeenten, Postbus 9627, NL-3506 GP Utrecht, The Netherlands., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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