Archive for March, 2010

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Mar 31st 2010 at 1:56pm UTC

Why Nations Struggle or Thrive

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010


Last Saturday, I posted the Global Well-Being Map from the Gallup Organization which showed how the countries of the world stack up on an index of well-being which runs from “suffering” to “thriving.”

The Gallup study found a “clear well-being divide between the wealthier countries of northern, western, and central Europe and some poorer countries within eastern and southern Europe.”

Economic development clearly plays a role in levels of  national well-being or happiness. A major cross-national study by University of Pennsylvania economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson found a close association between income and the happiness of nations. As Wolfers writes:  “1) Rich people are happier than poor people. 2) Richer countries are happier than poorer countries. 3) As countries get richer, they tend to get happier.” (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sun Mar 28th 2010 at 10:18am UTC

Graphing The Great Reset

Sunday, March 28th, 2010



This graph is from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota via Mark Thoma. The current Great Recession, or what I like to call The Great Reset, is longer and deeper. Or, as Thoma puts it: “One of these things is not like the others.”

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Sat Mar 27th 2010 at 1:00pm UTC

Mapping Global Well-Being

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

golden leader in business way

This map from the Gallup Organization shows the well-being levels of the nations of the world.

Gallup Well Being Map

Gallup collected the data through from interviews and telephone surveys with individuals across 155 nations between 2005 and 2009. It distinguishes three categories of well-being – suffering (low levels), struggling (medium levels), and thriving (high levels).

More than half of Americans (57 percent) report they are thriving, while 40 percent say they are “struggling,” and three percent report they are “suffering.” (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Mar 25th 2010 at 8:36pm UTC

Who’s Your LegoClick City?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010



Now this is pretty cool.  The great graphic above is from the folks at LegoClick.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Mar 18th 2010 at 3:45pm UTC

The Christianity Map

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


Check out this map of the geography of Christianity in the United States. It’s one of a series of mind-blowing maps prepared by the brilliant cartographers behind the site FloatingSheep.world_christiandenoms_usa_100305The geographic pattern is striking.

“Catholics are most visible in much of the Northeast and Canada, with Lutherans taking the Midwest, Baptists the Southeast, and Mormons unsurprisingly taking much of the mountain states. Methodists, interestingly, seem to primarily be most visible in a thin red line between the Southern Baptists and everyone else.”

Now check out their map of Christianity in Europe, where they note the “fascinating split between Orthodox Eastern Europe, Protestant Germany, and Catholic everywhere else.” (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Mar 12th 2010 at 2:00pm UTC

Is the U.S. Facing a Brain Drain?

Friday, March 12th, 2010


Here’s my interview with BusinessWeek’s Michelle Conlin:

Richard Florida: The U.S. Is Facing a ‘Talent Shift’

The bestselling author worries about the consequences of so many American-educated MBAs starting their careers in Asia

Richard Florida, the author of the bestselling books The Rise of the Creative Class and The Flight of the Creative Class, is a preeminent thinker about human capital and its importance for business. His new book, The Great Reset, due out in April, argues that a true recovery will require a complete break from the consumption lifestyle and a move towards a new economic model that is actually sustainable.

Florida is the director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and a professor of business and creativity at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Bloomberg BusinessWeek talked with Florida about how many American-educated MBAs are no longer beginning the Grand Tour of their careers in the U.S.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Some of the best and brightest American-educated kids are seeing their future—in Asia. Does this worry you?

Richard Florida: From the beginning, I’ve been worried about this talent shift. Two things are happening. Countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are going after our best and brightest. In China and India, the best and the brightest are staying. One of the biggest tools foreign companies have is our business schools. All these great companies are coming to recruit. This shift is happening in real time right in front of our eyes. I see it in the Rotman School where I teach.

What are you seeing there?

I did the commencement address this year. I was blown away. In enormous numbers, the students were going to China, to India, to the Middle East. To a person, they said they found much more opportunity and possibility for career advancement over there. My jaw dropped. I literally could not believe how many kids.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Mar 11th 2010 at 5:23pm UTC

Human Capital, the Creative Class, and the Happiness of Nations

Thursday, March 11th, 2010


Here’s one hot off the press.

A new paper with Jason Rentfrow and Charlotta Mellander looks at the role of post-industrial structures – that is, the creative class and human capital as well as values toward openness and tolerance – on the happiness of  nations.  Our main hypothesis is that  these structures and values shape happiness in ways that go beyond the previously examined effects of income. Here’s more from the abstract:

Drawing from previous theory and research, we measured post-industrial structures in terms of higher-level education and the share of the workforce engaged in knowledge-based/creative work. Post-industrial values were measured in terms of acceptance of racial and ethnic minorities and of gays and lesbians. Our measure of happiness is derived from a large-scale global survey of life satisfaction conducted by the Gallup Organization. We controlled for income in our analyses and divided our sample into high- and low-income countries to explore whether income has different effects on countries at different stages of economic development.

Our results indicate that post-industrial structures and values have a stronger effect on happiness in higher-income countries where the standard of living has surpassed a certain level. Income, on the other hand, has a stronger impact on happiness in low-income countries. Thus, we propose that when income rises beyond a certain level, a new system of post-industrial values centered on education, creativity, and openness become better predictors of happiness than income.

The full paper is here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Mar 4th 2010 at 2:29pm UTC

Smoking and Obesity

Thursday, March 4th, 2010


Just finished a new paper in what’s become an interesting – and fun – new area for me. Our research examines the factors that are associated with smoking and obesity – two significant health problems and contributors to leading causes of death.

There’s been a lot of research on smoking and obesity among individuals and some which looks at geographic patterns. Still, what we find is interesting. There is considerable variation in smoking and obesity across states. And smoking and obesity are both closely associated with post-industrial socioeconomis structures, that is high levels of knowledge; professional, creative work; and high levels of college-educated adults. The results holds even when we control for the level of economic output.

What this all seems to mean is that places that have transitioned to postindustrialism go beyond economics and innovation. In addition to generating better-paying jobs and having higher levels of income and innovation, these sorts of places appear to have better health outcomes as well, and they do so in ways that go beyond the effects of just higher levels of economic output. The effects of these structures work in addition to the effects of Gross State Product per capita. The full paper is here.