Cultural Districts and Economic Development in American Cities

27 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2015

See all articles by Michael J. Rushton

Michael J. Rushton

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Date Written: February 4, 2015

Abstract

Arts policy at the local level in the United States has taken a turn towards emphasis on economic development. In particular, a lively cultural scene is held to be an attractor of mobile, skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and businesses, both in providing a location with interesting opportunities for consumption of culture, and as providing an ambiance that could lead to greater productivity in all industries that rely upon creativity and innovation. This paper assesses the hypothesis that public investments in the arts can spur local development, and the implication for the choices over which are the most effective public investments if the hypothesis is true. It critically examines changes in state and federal arts policy that have shifted focus towards creative places and cultural districts, rather than just artists or nonprofit arts organizations.

Keywords: Cultural policy, Urban economic development, Cultural districts, Creative class

JEL Classification: H70, R11, Z11

Suggested Citation

Rushton, Michael J., Cultural Districts and Economic Development in American Cities (February 4, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2560479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2560479

Michael J. Rushton (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

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