Posts Tagged ‘Martin Prosperity Institute’

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Jan 3rd 2011 at 9:00am UTC

The Role of Beauty in Community Satisfaction

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Beautiful Places: The Role of Perceived Aesthetic Beauty in Community Satisfaction” is a new paper on regional studies that I wrote with my MPI colleagues Charlotta Mellander and Kevin Stolarick.

Here’s the abstract:

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 multinomial logit. The findings confirm that beauty is significantly associated with community satisfaction. Other significant factors include economic security, schools, and social interaction. Further, community-level factors are significantly more important than individual demographic characteristics in explaining community satisfaction.

Read the full paper here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Dec 10th 2010 at 11:15am UTC

Cities, Brains, and Brawn

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Just as people with higher levels of education have fared better during the Great Recession, cities and regions with higher levels of human capital have experienced lower rates of unemployment and higher wages. But human capital, which takes into account only the level of a worker’s education, is a crude measure – some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, are college dropouts.

A while back, I wrote about research done by my colleagues at the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI), that took data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ O*NET Project on actual skills (physical skills of the sort used in manufacturing, analytical or cognitive skills, and social intelligence skills like the ability to direct teams, form entrepreneurial new businesses and organizations, and mobilize people and resources behind common causes and objectives) and charted their relations to the economic performance of cities and regions. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Nov 25th 2010 at 11:00am UTC

The Social Advantage of Large Cities

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

From Silicon Valley to Shanghai, cities are increasingly seen as engines of economic progress. Cities bring together diverse groups of people and companies in ways that increase productivity and create the networks, clusters, and chance interactions that lead to the discovery of new innovations and the creations of new entrepreneurial businesses. Up until now, the economic performance of cities has been gauged in terms of the education or human capital level of residents or the kinds of work they do.

But new research by my colleagues at the Martin Prosperity Institute sheds lights on the relationship between cities and three underlying types of workforce skills – physical skills of the sort used in manufacturing, analytical or cognitive skills, and social intelligence skills like the ability to direct teams, form entrepreneurial new businesses and organizations, and mobilize both people and resources behind common causes and objectives. The chart below plots the distribution of these three sets of skills by city size. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Oct 22nd 2010 at 9:17am UTC

No Longer One Toronto

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Here’s the long version of my column published in today’s The Globe and Mail.

Canadians often point to the angry red versus blue divide that is such a hallmark of American politics, with higher-income, more economically advanced places voting Democratic and less-affluent, more working class locales trending Republican, as a problem that Canada has risen above. But this same kind of cleavage has become increasingly apparent in Canada – glaringly so in Toronto’s upcoming mayoral election.

The most recent Nanos poll shows Rob Ford leading in Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, while George Smitherman leads in old Toronto. The conventional wisdom is that this is a product of amalgamation and the rise of the mega-city, which brought two distinct constituencies into one political jurisdiction in 1998. But it runs far deeper than that. (more…)

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Sep 29th 2010 at 9:00am UTC

Occupational Organization

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

That’s the title of an important new study by my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Kevin Stolarick. Economists have long used the firm as their basic unit of analysis. But Marx long ago said it was the kind of work people do that not only defined their class position but is what really propelled the economy. The study makes the case for the emerging field of “occupational organization” as a complement and counterpoint to the more established field of industrial organization. Here’s the abstract.

Industrial Organization studies the behavior of firms, markets and economies through the lens of industry.  With the transition to a knowledge or creative economy, occupation has become an equally important consideration for understanding regional economies and markets. Industry alone is no longer a sufficient discriminator to understand regional markets and structures.  This paper discusses the rising importance of occupation as a unit of analysis for understanding regional economies and economic structures. However, occupation does not supplant industry as occupation alone is also not sufficient.  Rather, an understanding of the organization of occupations and industries across regions and occupations within industries is required. The study of Occupational Organization is needed.

The full study is here.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Sep 27th 2010 at 2:57pm UTC

Knowledge in Cities

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Everyone interested in urban and regional economic development must check out this new MPI study, ”Knowledge in Cities.” Using data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network database – O*NET – it identifies 11 key types of regions by the knowledge, skill, and work they do. Here are some examples of the regional types it defines.

  • Enterprising Regions like Chicago, L.A., Miami, and Toronto have high knowledge about sales and marketing, economics and accounting, customer and personal service, and information technology and telecommunications.
  • Engineering Regions like San Jose (Silicon Valley) and Calgary are high in engineering and IT; low knowledge about physical and mental health.
  • Thinking Regions like New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Portland, Maine, have high knowledge about arts, humanities, IT, and commerce, and low knowledge about manufacturing.
  • Making Regions like Detroit have high knowledge about manufacturing, but very low knowledge about commerce and the humanities.
  • Building Regions have very high knowledge about construction and transportation.
  • Understanding Regions – mainly college towns like Charlottesville, VA, and Iowa City, IA – have very high knowledge about arts, science, humanities, and IT but very low knowledge about manufacturing.

The study also finds that three types of regions – Engineering, Enterprising, and Building Regions – have higher levels of productivity and earnings per capita, while Teaching, Understanding, Working, and Comforting Regions have lower levels of economic development.

Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Sep 13th 2010 at 10:28am UTC

Toronto in the Creative Age

Monday, September 13th, 2010

My research team at the Martin Prosperity Institute just released a new report on Toronto in the Creative Age. Several things really stand out.

First, Toronto is still coming into its own as a major North American metro. U.S. metros in the Northeast and Midwest had significant expansion a whole lot earlier, but Toronto has seen substantial growth since the 1950s, sort of like a Sunbelt metro. Since then, it has transformed from a sleepy metro into a large and rapidly growing one, fueled by massive immigration and growing across almost every knowledge and creative  industry.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Thu Sep 9th 2010 at 12:30pm UTC

The Power of Density

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Density is a key factor in innovation and economic growth. The dense geographic clustering of economic activities was true of the industrial behemoths of the past – steelmaking in Pittsburgh and automotive production in Detroit. And, despite advances in communications technology, it applies even more so today: from high-tech firms in Silicon Valley to film producers in Los Angeles and recording studios and record labels in Nashville. There’s no doubt: The geographic concentration of firms, industries, technologies, people, and other economic assets plays a powerful role in innovation and economic growth.

The great economist Alfred Marshall long ago outlined the dynamic of agglomeration – that is, the process by which co-location of related economic activities and assets shapes industries and economic development. Jane Jacobs showed us how the clustering of diverse groups of people, firms, and industries in cities provides the basic engine of innovation and new product development. Harvard’s Michael Porter has shown how clusters of related industries, customers, and suppliers power innovation and growth. Density makes it easier for people and firms to interact and connect with one another, and it reduces the effort, friction, and energy that’s used to make these connections. Density increases the speed at which new ideas are conceived and diffused across the economy, accelerating the speed with which new enterprises and new industries are created.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Fri Aug 27th 2010 at 1:04pm UTC

Toronto’s Geography of Class

Friday, August 27th, 2010

A new report from our Martin Prosperity Institute team charts the geography of class in Toronto. The map below shows the deep underlying economic – class - divisions of the city and can also help us understand the current polarized mayor’s race.


Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Mon Aug 23rd 2010 at 6:08pm UTC

Canada’s Creative Class

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

My new paper on Canada’s creative class, done in collaboration with my MPI colleagues Kevin Stolarick and Charlotta Mellander, is out. It’s titled “Talent, Technology and Tolerance in Canadian Regional Development” and is published in the latest issue of the Canadian Geographer.

Here’s the abstract:

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 and/or the creative class, universities, the diversity of service industries and openness to immigrants, minorities and gay and lesbian populations on regional income. It also examines the effects of several broad occupations groups—business and finance, management, science, arts and culture, education and health care—on regional income. The findings indicate that both human capital and the creative class have a direct effect on regional income. Openness and tolerance also have a significant effect on regional development in Canada. Openness towards the gay and lesbian population has a direct effect on both human capital and the creative class, while tolerance towards immigrants and visible minorities is directly associated with higher regional incomes. The university has a relatively weak effect on regional incomes and on technology as well. Management, business and finance and science occupations have a sizeable effect on regional income; arts and culture occupations have a significant effect on technology; health and education occupations have no effect on regional income.

The full paper is here.