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Understanding Contributions of the Creative Class to Sustainable Economic Growth in China

Kai Zhao (), Yuesheng Zhang (), Jinkai Zhao () and Xiaojing Li ()
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Yuesheng Zhang: School of Economics and Management, Tianjin Chengjian University, Tianjin 300384, China
Jinkai Zhao: College of Economics and Management, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266590, China
Xiaojing Li: School of Economics and Finance, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 4, 1-1

Abstract: By investigating the direct effect of the ‘3T’s (the creative class; tolerance; technology) and their interactive effects on GDP per capita, based on the data collected from 279 cities over the period of 2002–2014, the aim of this study is to explore the practical value of the creative class theory to the sustainable economic development in China. Using econometric estimations; the results suggest that agglomeration of the creative class; improving tolerant milieu and increasing technology investment have positive explanatory powers in understanding the disparities in GDP per capita between different cities in China. However, the complementary effects on GDP per capita are only observed between the creative class and technology or technology and tolerance, while there is an interference effect between the creative class and tolerance. These findings suggest that Florida’s advocacy for generating creative competitiveness across cities and regions by building up selected amenities may be arguable, but that the creative class is substantially contributing to regional economic growth. However, the creative class may have a unique mix with other innovative elements in different contexts. Therefore, instead of extensively focusing on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution that praises ‘cultural consumption’, the present study suggests a ‘three-phrase theory’; which has quite generic and flexible policy focuses on different development stages.

Keywords: the creative class; tolerance; technology; economic growth; Florida (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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