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Planting the seed to grow local creative industries: The impacts of cultural districts and arts schools on economic development

Shiri M Breznitz and Douglas Noonan

Environment and Planning A, 2018, vol. 50, issue 5, 1047-1070

Abstract: The impact of arts and culture on local economies has been studied extensively. However, a review of the literature finds conflicting and critical results regarding the impact of cultural on economic outcomes. In this paper, we shift attention to examine different intermediaries and concentrations of cultural agents that can influence growth and innovation in the “creative economy.†Thus, we build on previous work and expand on it by refining the scale of analysis (zip-code level). The paper focuses on education in the arts and digital media in all arts-related programs at universities as well as accredited art schools across the United States. Further, employing more observations for larger cities allows a richer depiction of the rather urban nature of the arts and digital media industries. We find that, by going to the zip-code level, we can say that both districts and arts programs (especially at schools that specialize in arts education) have a positive relationship with the share of jobs in the arts and digital media. Moreover, when we evaluate the impact of schools versus districts, we find that schools have a greater role.

Keywords: Cultural districts; digital media; economic impact; employment; intermediaries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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