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Hipsters vs. geeks? Creative workers, STEM and innovation in US cities

Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés ORCID: 0000-0002-8041-0856 and Lee, Neil ORCID: 0000-0002-4138-7163 (2020) Hipsters vs. geeks? Creative workers, STEM and innovation in US cities. Cities, 100. ISSN 0264-2751

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.cities.2020.102653


Innovation in cities is increasingly regarded as an outcome of two potential inputs: scientific activity and creativity. Recent firm level research has suggested that what really matters for innovation is the combination of these two inputs, rather than the mere presence of workers representing each group. Yet there is little evidence on whether this relationship holds at the city level. This paper investigates this gap in our knowledge by examining how the simultaneous presence of STEM (geeks) and creative workers (hipsters) in 290 US Metropolitan Statistical Areas during the period between 2005 and 2015 has contributed to determine city level innovation. The results indicate that, although at first sight the presence of STEM workers is a more important driver of innovation than that of creative ones, it is the combination of both factors that maximizes innovation in US cities. The most innovative cities are precisely those that are more successful at combining the two. Hence, current policies which tend to focus mainly on either STEM or creativity may be better targeted at ensuring both are present.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 08:54
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:01

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