52nd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regions in Motion - Breaking the Path", 21-25 August 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia
The aim of this paper is to assess the role played by creativity and other components of human capital on the process of economic growth for 257 regions in the 27 member countries of the European Union. We first decompose the regional human capital endowment to distinguish between the educational component (the share of individuals with a university degree) and the creativity component, which considers the actual occupations of individuals in specific jobs like science, engineering, education, arts and entertainment. We define three non overlapping categories of human capital (creative graduates, bohemians and non creative graduates) which are simultaneously included in a spatial model as determinants of regional growth measured by labour productivity. After extending the analysis to control for other relevant factors which may affect regional development, such as physical, technological and social capital, cultural diversity, industrial and geographical characteristics, we provide robust evidence on the growth enhancing effects of graduates, in particular for those of the creative category.