Creative economies and global competition

Is international wealth and opportunity becoming more or less concentrated by region and social strata?

Writing this month for CATO, Richard Florida, who authored the "Rise of the Creative Class," believes that the rise of a global creative economy alters global competition in four ways, by:

  1. making "talent the fundamental factor of production."
  2. making regions the primary economic and social organizing unit of the world economy.
  3. creating new social, cultural, and political divides in the United States.
  4. giving rise to even more extreme divides globally between the relatively small number of advantaged regions and the rest of the world.

Elaborating on point three, Florida points to UCLA economist Ed Leamer's division of labor into “geeks vs. grunts,” which reminded me of recent statistics on the "Oldsmobile economy" that appear to suggest a similar dynamic.

Overall, he takes the opposite tact of Thomas Friedman, who recently wrote The World is Flat. Friedman believes one "needn't emigrate to innovate." However, statistics, according to Florida, show that the poorest regions send more than half their engineers and scietific talent to advanced economies.

Hat tip, Arts & Letters Daily.

Technorati: Richard Florida, Creative Class, Thomas Friedman