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The Dutch Creative Class and How it Fosters Urban Employment Growth

Gerard Marlet and Clemens van Woerkens
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Gerard Marlet: Utrecht School of Economics, and Stichting Atlas voor gemeenten, PO Box 9627, Utrecht 3506 GP, The Netherlands, marlet@atlasvoorgemeenten.nl
Clemens van Woerkens: Utrecht School of Economics, and Stichting Atlas voor gemeenten, PO Box 9627, Utrecht 3506 GP, The Netherlands, woerkens@atlasvoorgemeenten.nl

Urban Studies, 2007, vol. 44, issue 13, 2605-2626

Abstract: This paper examines Richard Florida's creative capital theory in comparison with the human capital theory, using a cross-section of Dutch cities and towns as the sample. A class of Dutch creative people has been devised with creative and innovative occupations containing 19 per cent of the total Dutch labour force. Employment growth in Dutch cities and towns can be predicted both from local education levels and from the presence of a large creative class, but especially from the latter. This is largely due to employment growth in commercial and financial services and to newly started companies. It is concluded that, in theory, creativity is not very different from human capital. Nevertheless, Florida's creative class is a better standard to measure human capital than are education levels.

Date: 2007
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