Creative China? The University, Tolerance and Talent in Chinese Regional Development

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Florida, Richard ; Mellander, Charlotta ; Qian, Haifeng (2008)
  • Subject: China; Talent; Human Capital; Creative Class; Tolerance; Technology; Regional Development
    • jel: jel:R12 | jel:O30 | jel:P30
    acm: ComputingMilieux_THECOMPUTINGPROFESSION

The relationships between talent, technology and regional development have been widely examined in the advanced economies. While there is a general consensus as to the important role talent plays in regional development, debate has emerged on two key issues. The first involves the efficacy of educational (i.e. human capital) versus occupational (i.e. the creative class) measures of talent; the second involves the factors affecting the distribution of talent. In this study, we have used structural equation models and path analysis. We employed both educational and occupational measures of talent to examine the relationships between talent, technology and regional economic performance in China, and to isolate the effects of tolerance, differing levels of consumer service amenities, and the location of universities on the distribution of talent. Contrary to the findings of empirical studies on the developed economies, we found the relationships between the distribution of talent and technology and between the distribution of talent and regional economic performance in China to be weak. We found the presence of universities – a factor highly influenced by government policy – and the actual stock of talent to be strongly related. We also found that tolerance, as measured by the “Hukou index,” plays an important role in the distribution of talent and technology in China.
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