Cultural Cities

The following item is from the NDMC Newsletter, September 2014:

Cultural cities and productivity: new Nesta report

Nesta has published a paper linking the productivity of cities with the amount of culture they offer (this first appeared in longer form last year in National Endowment for the Arts publication). They say that although this link has long been assumed, evidence has been thin. The study builds an econometric model drawing on solid literature about urban wage premiums and human capital externalities. Findings include:

• Workers will take a pay cut to work in cities with strong cultural clustering;
• Innovation spillovers from the creative sector affect the surrounding economy;
• Creative cities seem to be more productive (although the authors caution that it could simply be that productive cities attract creative industries).

The study concludes that although a positive link between economic benefit and creative cities exist, it’s a more subtle link than some have assumed.

See ‘Capital of Culture: What is the impact of arts and cultural clustering on local productivity?’, 19 August 2014