Local IDEAs

Local Indicator Database for Economic Analysis

The Geography of the Creative Process

Much of my work is about understanding the role of location in the creative process and how it pertains to the economy. This paper published in the Journal of Economic Geography provides a model that outlines much of my thinking.



This article presents an agent-based model that simulates the social dynamics of the creative process within an evolutionary economic geography framework. Stylized facts are developed from the social psychology, network analysis and economic geography literature in order to construct specific agent behaviours with respect to four types of actions: social interaction, learning, creativity and migration. The model demonstrates how location affects the evolution of social networks from a neutral initial state and in turn how these trajectories establish varying contexts in which creative activity can flourish or founder. Ultimately, the model shows why individuals tend to be more creative in large and diverse locations. The article presents four additional scenarios which test notions of: local diversity versus specialization; nature versus nurture; the role of differing local education strategies; and competing talent attraction and retention strategies.


To access the paper following this link:

Spencer, G.M. 2012. Creative Economies of Scale: an agent-based model of creativity and agglomeration. Journal of Economic Geography, 12(1): 247-271.


2 comments on “The Geography of the Creative Process

  1. Pingback: Where to draw the line on inequality? | Local IDEAs

  2. Pingback: Education and inequality between Canadian cities | Local IDEAs

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