Richard Florida

Richard Florida
University of Toronto | U of T · Rotman School of Management

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185
Publications
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Publications

Publications (185)
Article
Power couples, defined as pairs of highly educated partners, tend to cluster in cities to take advantage of more developed labor markets, better jobs, and higher wages. This research examines to what extent being a partner in a power couple brings additional wage income benefits. We examine what the effects of power couple partnering is on wage inc...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the geographic factors that are associated with the spread of COVID-19 during the first wave in Sweden. We focus particularly on the role of place-based factors versus factors associated with the spread or diffusion of COVID-19 across places. Sweden is a useful case study to examine the interplay of these factors because it did...
Article
This research investigates the economic geography of urban technology, or ‘urban tech’, start-up enterprises. Comprised of ride-hailing, co-living, co-working, smart cities and other urban-oriented activities, urban tech is a suite of innovations that enable and are premised upon growing urbanization. We investigate where urban tech comes from by a...
Article
This paper examines the factors affecting U.S. industry employment change in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results show that the percentage of industry employment in occupations that require close physical proximity has a negative effect on year-over-year employment change in the six months of April through September of 2020. On the ot...
Article
The decline in fertility across advanced nations is a well‐known fact. Becker famously argued that declining rates of childbirth were the by‐product of higher levels of economic development and human capital. Recently, it has been suggested that two additional factors might lead to declining rates of childbirth—the higher housing costs of expensive...
Article
The ongoing COVID‐19 crisis has put the relationship between spatial structure and disease exposure into relief. Here, we propose that mega regions – clusters of metropolitan regions like the Acela Corridor in the United States are more exposed to diseases earlier in pandemics. We review standard accounts for the benefits and costs of locating in s...
Chapter
The role of human capital in shaping cross-national innovative and economic performance is well-understood. But human capital is an indirect measure of skill, based on educational attainment. We introduce and test a more direct measure of skill, based on work that is actually performed, measured by occupation. Empirical studies have shown that such...
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Urban science seeks to understand the fundamental processes that drive, shape and sustain cities and urbanization. It is a multi/transdisciplinary approach involving concepts, methods and research from the social, natural, engineering and computational sciences, along with the humanities. This report is intended to convey the current “state of the...
Chapter
This chapter lays out the connection between urbanism and entrepreneurship. For decades, it was thought that startup activity tended to cluster in suburban office parks or “nerdistans” like those of California’s Silicon Valley. We argue that tech startups are increasingly clustered in large global cities and metro areas and in denser urban neighbor...
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This paper develops a theory of large corporate headquarters’ location in post-industrial capitalism. It posits that human capital has become the primary factor in the location decisions of large corporate headquarters. It argues that such operations will locate in skilled cities that are also larger and globally connected. These hypotheses are tes...
Article
There is growing concern over rising economic inequality, the decline of the middle class, and a polarization of the U.S. workforce. This study examines the extent to which workers in the United States transition from low-end to higher-quality occupations, and explores the factors associated with such a move up the job ladder. Using data covering t...
Article
Research on Schumpeterian entrepreneurship identifies new high-growth startup companies as key factors in technological innovation and economic growth. While economists have tended to focus on high-growth, high-tech startup firms as the unit of analysis, economic geographers and urbanists have examined the geographic dimensions of entrepreneurship,...
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Considerable attention has been paid to America’s political and economic divides. These divides revolve around class and location, with more affluent, more educated and denser places leaning more open-minded and liberal and less affluent, less educated and less dense places leaning more conservative. We contend that such divides are also reflected...
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This study examines the key factors that are associated with the geography of economic segregation across US metros. It connects the sociological literature on the extent and variation of economic segregation to the urban economics literature on the factors associated with urban and regional performance. It advances the hypothesis that economic seg...
Article
The university is a key source of talent and a key driver of innovation and economic growth in a knowledge‐based economy. But, in performing these economic functions, it also contributes to economic and spatial inequality. Our research uses a variety of new data to examine this Janus face of the university in innovation and inequality across U.S. m...
Article
Previous research has identified the clustering of high-tech industries, entrepreneurial start-ups, and venture capital across metropolitan areas. Using detailed ZIP code data on start-up activity and venture capital investment, this research tests three hypotheses informed by urban theory on the clustering of innovation, entrepreneurship, and high...
Chapter
From industrial location theory and Alfred Marshall's concern for agglomeration to more recent research on industrial clusters and districts, firms and industries have been the dominant unit of analysis in urban economics and economic geography. But the last decade or two have seen a shift in urban and regional research toward talent, human capital...
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This research examines the new divides and changing structure of the modern city and metropolis. Since the classic Chicago School models, the urban form of the metropolis has been conceptualized as a divided space, where affluent suburbs surround a less-advantaged and denser urban core. More recently, the concept of a great inversion has been advan...
Article
There is a long literature extolling the virtues of diversity for both the civility and economic performance of nations and cities. On the most basic level, diversity helps nations and cities attract the wide range of creative talent that drives innovation and economic growth. Yet similarly, there is a large amount of literature on the sorting and...
Article
The city as innovation machine. Regional Studies. This paper puts cities and urban regions at the very centre of the processes of innovation and entrepreneurship. It combines the insights of Jane Jacobs and recent urban research on the role of the city with the literature on innovation and entrepreneurship going back to Joseph Schumpeter. Innovatio...
Article
The prevailing geographic model for high-technology industrial organization has been the “nerdistan,” a sprawling, car-oriented suburb organized around office parks. This seems to contradict a basic insight of urban theory, which associates dense urban centers with higher levels of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. This article examines...
Article
Purpose – This paper aims to marry Michael Porter’s industrial cluster theory of traded and local clusters to Richard Florida’s occupational approach of creative and routine workers to gain a better understanding of the process of economic development. Design/methodology/approach – Combining these two approaches, four major industrial-occupational...
Article
The Rise of the Creative Class, which was originally published in 2002, has generated widespread conversation and debate and has had a considerable impact on economic development policy and practice. This essay briefly recaps the key tenants of the creative class theory of economic development, discusses the key issues in the debate over it, and as...
Article
Florida R. and Mellander C. The geography of inequality: difference and determinants of wage and income inequality across US metros, Regional Studies. This paper examines the geographic variation in wage inequality and income inequality across US metros. The findings indicate that the two are quite different. Wage inequality is closely associated w...
Book
Initially published in 2002, The Rise of the Creative Class quickly achieved classic status for its identification of forces then only beginning to reshape our economy, geography, and workplace. Weaving story-telling with original research, Richard Florida identified a fundamental shift linking a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American soci...
Article
This paper examines the effects of the housing boom of the early 2000s on unemployment in U.S. metropolitan areas. A region's share of housing units built between 2000 and 2006 has no effect on unemployment prior to the start of the Great Recession, but the extent of a region's housing boom increases unemployment in over one-half of the months anal...
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Music spans many styles and genres, and previous research has identified five major categories of music preferences: mellow, unpretentious, sophisticated, intense, and contemporary. Our research examines the geographic variation in these five categories of music preferences and the socio-economic factors that shape them. Our research uses factor an...
Article
This research provides new data and insight on metropolitan areas worldwide. It summarizes new data, derived from satellite images of the world at night, to provide systematic estimates of the economic activity generated by cities and metropolitan areas worldwide. It identifies 681 global metropolitan areas each with more than 500,000 people. Taken...
Article
China is currently seeking to transform its economic structure from a traditional industrial to a more innovative, human-capital driven, and knowledge-based economy. Our research examines the effects of three key factors on Chinese regional development in an attempt to gauge to what degree China has transformed from an industrial to a knowledge-bas...
Article
The geographic clustering of economic activity has long been understood in terms of economies of scale across space. This paper introduces the construct of geographies of scope, which we argue is driven by substantial, large-scale geographic concentrations of related skills, inputs and capabilities. We examine this through an empirical analysis of...
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Florida R., Mellander C. and Rentfrow P. J. The happiness of cities, Regional Studies. This research examines the factors that shape the happiness of cities, whereas much of the existent literature has focused on the happiness of nations. It is argued that in addition to income, which has been found to shape national-level happiness, human capital...
Chapter
IntroductionSpiky GlobalizationThe Rise of the Mega-RegionThe Clustering ForcePeaks and Valleys of the Global EconomyReferences
Article
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While there is consensus on the importance of human capital to economic development, debate takes shape around two central issues. First, there is the question of how best to measure human capital. Second, there is debate over the factors that yield the geographic distribution of human capital in the first place. We find that occupational or “creat...
Article
Why do some people stay in locations while others move? While most research has examined the factors which encourage people to move to new locations, we focus our research on the effects of satisfaction with individuals' current location on the decision to stay. To do so, we examine the relative effects of three kinds of factors: (1) satisfaction w...
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Our research examines the role of post-industrial structures and values on happiness across the nations of the world. We argue that these structures and values shape happiness in ways that go beyond the previously examined effects of income. Our analysis explores whether income has different effects on countries at different stages of economic deve...
Article
This chapter makes a case for the importance of place in positive psychology. It addresses the question: Does where people live affect their psychological well-being? Despite the fair amount of research already available to help us answer that question, more research is still needed to really develop an understanding of the interplay between place...
Article
Beautiful places: The role of perceived aesthetic beauty in community satisfaction, Regional Studies. This research uses a large survey sample of individuals across United States locations to examine the effects of beauty and aesthetics on community satisfaction. The paper conducts these estimations by ordinary least-squares, ordered logit, and mul...
Article
This article examines the factors that shape economic development in Canadian regions. It employs path analysis and structural equation models to isolate the effects of technology, human capital andor the creative class, universities, the diversity of service industries and openness to immigrants, minorities and gay and lesbian populations on regio...
Chapter
Venture capitalists find, fund, and assist high-impact entrepreneurs—individuals whose firms are instruments of Schumpeter’s (1939) “creative destruction” and the “creation of new economic spaces” (Acs, 2008). These entrepreneurs form firms characterized by a lack of substantial tangible assets, the expectation of several years of negative earnings...
Article
Where do musicians locate, and why do creative industries such as music continue to cluster? This paper analyzes the economic geography of musicians and the recording industry in the U.S. from 1970 to 2000 to shed light on the locational dynamics of music and creative industries more broadly. We examine the role of scale and scope economies in shap...
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It is often conjectured that artistic, bohemian and gay populations increase housing values in the neighborhoods and communities in which they reside. But these groups are small, and the evidence of their effect on housing prices is anecdotal and limited. We argue that artists, bohemians and gays affect housing values through two kinds of mechanism...
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Our research tracks the location of musicians and music establishments in U.S. regions from 1970 to 2004. We find that the music industry has become significantly more concentrated over time. New York and Los Angeles remain dominant locations, with Nashville emerging as a third major center.This reflects the economic and artistic advantages of larg...
Article
Full-text available
Venture capitalists find, fund, and assist high-impact entrepreneurs - individuals whose firms are instruments of Schumpeter’s (1939) “creative destruction” and the “creation of new economic spaces” (Acs, 2008). These entrepreneurs form firms characterized by a lack of substantial tangible assets, the expectation of several years of negative earnin...
Article
Innovation has long been understood as a fundamental factor in economic growth. Economists, geographers, and other social scientists have examined the effects of innovation on economic growth, the factors associated with the production of innovations, and the geographic distribution of innovations. Jane Jacobs notes that the capacity to innovate is...
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This paper focuses on the political economy of U.S. farm policy since the Uruguay Round trade negotiations concluded in 1994 and established the WTO. The continued ability of the powerful farm lobby in the United States to elicit support in the political arena is evident from this analysis. Yet there have been some substantial changes in policy tha...
Article
Cross-national research indicates that well-being is comparatively high in wealthy nations where importance is placed on freedom, self-expression, and independence. The present research aimed to replicate and extend previous work by examining the geographic distribution and correlates of well-being within the US. Links between the Gallup Organizati...
Article
1) The first section examines the basic contours of the new Deal financial system. 2) Outlines the collapse of this framework under the twin pressures of increased domestic and international financial competition. 4) Presents a detailed analysis of the new financial regulation. 5) Turns to the reorganization of the housing finance system and its im...
Article
Postwar suburbanization provided a way to organize demand, largely through market mechanisms, and in doing so to facilitate the parallel development of mass production and mass consumption. Prompted by New Deal innovations in housing finance, suburbanization fuelled demand for housing, automobiles, consumer durables and a wide range of private and...
Book
The concept of “the city” —as well as “the state” and “the nation state” —is passé, agree contributors to this insightful book. The new scale for considering economic strength and growth opportunities is “the megaregion,” a network of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas that are spatially and functionally linked through environmental,...
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It is argued that the introduction of new technology is leading toward the decentralization of the production and consumption of creative products and industries. But creative industries and workers may benefit from being around large markets, access to shared labor, network interactions and economies of scale as well as scope. We hypothesize that...
Article
The relationships between talent, technology and regional development have been widely examined in the advanced economies. While there is a general consensus as to the important role talent plays in regional development, debate has emerged on two key issues. The first involves the efficacy of educational (i.e. human capital) versus occupational (i....
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Full-text available
Geographers and social scientists have probed the effects of agglomeration and spatial clustering on innovation and economic growth. Economists and others have identified the role of knowledge spillovers in driving the innovation process. Although innovation is thus assumed to be a function of proximity, there has been little systematic research on...
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This paper uses a global dataset of nighttime light emissions to produce an objectively consistent set of mega-regions for the globe. We draw on high resolution population data to estimate the population of each of these regions. We then process the light data in combination with published estimates of national GDP to produce rough but useful estim...
Article
The world isn't just flat. Alongside the dispersing centrifugal forces of globalization there are equally powerful centripetal forces that trigger economic concentration in a few dozen megaregions - areas like the Boston-New York-Washington corridor and the Shanghai-Nanjing-Hangzhou triangle which account for the bulk of the globe's economic activi...
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It has long been argued that the Japanese production organization is culture-bound and therefore not transferable to other countries. This article examines seven major Japanese automobile assembly plants and over 270 Japanese automotive parts suppliers in the US. The successful transfer of Japanese work and production organization in these ‘transpl...
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While there is a general consensus on the importance of human capital to regional development, debate has emerged around two key issues. The first involves the efficacy of educational versus occupational measures (i.e. the creative class) of human capital, while the second revolves around the factors that affect its distribution. We use structural...
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This paper provides a survey on studies that analyze the macroeconomic effects of intellectual property rights (IPR). The first part of this paper introduces different patent policy instruments and reviews their effects on R&D and economic growth. This part also discusses the distortionary effects and distributional consequences of IPR protection a...
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The importance of creativity as a driving force in regional economic growth and prosperity has been previously documented; however, the mechanisms of this relationship are less well understood. Earlier research suggests, but does not demonstrate, that high levels of density and creative-class employment create conditions under which innovations gen...
Article
A company's most important asset isn't raw materials, transportation systems, or political influence. It's creative capital--simply put, an arsenal of creative thinkers whose ideas can be turned into valuable products and services. Creative employees pioneer new technologies, birth new industries, and power economic growth. If you want your company...
Article
Over the years, United States led the world into the era of high-tech industry and constant innovation. Now, signs show that U.S. is losing this competitive edge. To counter this emerging scenario, the government must recognize that the issue is non-partisan. It must consider its next steps carefully and deliberately. Three main areas on which the...
Conference Paper
In his groundbreaking 2002 bestseller The Rise of the Creative Class, economist Richard Florida identified the 3 Ts of economic development: Technology, Talent, and Tolerance. Now, with The Flight of the Creative Class, Florida is back - and he's gone global. How does the movement of talented people across borders affect regional growth? What do ti...
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Regional economic growth is powered by creative people, who prefer places that are diverse, tolerant and open to new ideas. Diversity increases the odds that a place will attract different types of creative people with different skill sets and ideas. Places with diverse mixes of creative people are more likely to generate new combinations. Furtherm...
Article
The strength of the American economy does not rest on its manufacturing prowess, its natural resources, or the size of its market. It turns on one factor--the country's openness to new ideas, which has allowed it to attract the brightest minds from around the world and harness their creative energies. But the United States is on the verge of losing...
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Understanding the factors that promote or mitigate new firm birth is crucial to regional economic development efforts, since a high level of new firm creation significantly contributes to regional economic vitality and is a major signal of a dynamic economy. The literature suggest that various factors such as unemployment, population density/growth...
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Lee S. Y., Florida R. and Acs Z. J. (2004) Creativity and entrepreneurship: a regional analysis of new firm formation, Regional Studies38, 879-891. Understanding the factors that promote or mitigate new firm birth is crucial to regional economic development efforts, since a high level of new firm creation significantly contributes to regional econo...
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This volume explores how industries organize their global operations through case studies of seven manufacturing industries. The chapters provide a nuanced understanding of the complex matrix of factor costs, access to inimitable capabilities, and time-based pressures that influence where firms decide to locate particular segments of the value chai...
Chapter
If one wanted to select the best novelist, artist, entrepreneur, or even chief executive officer, one would most likely want someone who is creative. Robert Sternberg, Handbook of Creativity (Sternberg 1999) Entrepreneurship, both in the conventional wisdom and the academic view, has long been seen as the province of great individuals. Scores of bo...
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Part One: Innovation and Knowledge Transfer in International Networks Part Two: Integrative Processes and Socialisation Part Three: Adaptation of Strategy and Firm Evolution Part Four: Network Rules and Competences and Organizational Form

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