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Is the Creative Class a Game Changer in Cities? A Socioeconomic Study on Romania

Alina Maria Pavelea (), Bogdana Neamțu (), Peter Nijkamp and Karima Kourtit
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Alina Maria Pavelea: Department of Public Administration and Management, Babeș-Bolyai University, 400132 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Bogdana Neamțu: Department of Public Administration and Management, Babeș-Bolyai University, 400132 Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 11, 1-16

Abstract: In the wake of current urbanization trends, Creative Class theory has gained much popularity. According to the theory, in order to achieve sustainable socioeconomic growth and citizens’ well-being, cities have to attract the Creative Class, who prefer places that simultaneously provide amenities such as tolerance, talent, technology, and territorial assets (the four Ts). Although the theory has been tested extensively in the USA and in Western European countries, few attempts have been made to study it in Eastern Europe. As such, this paper tests Creative Class theory in the case of Romania, which is an interesting country for this study, since it has a relatively low level of urbanization and the population is less mobile compared to Western countries. Our results show that talent, technology, and territorial assets are able to significantly explain the geographical concentration of the Creative Class. However, different types of tolerance have different effects on the concentration of the Creative Class. Nevertheless, when we control for conventional socioeconomic welfare variables, the results change. The variable that has the highest effect on welfare patterns is path-dependency, namely, the previous level of regional and urban welfare registered. Thus, this paper reflects the need for both researchers and practitioners to consider the path-dependency trajectories of socioeconomic health and well-being in urban areas.

Keywords: creative class; urban economic growth; post-socialist countries; path-dependency (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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