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Identity, power and prosperity : why image is important in regional economic development

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Prins, Stewart 2004 , 'Identity, power and prosperity : why image is important in regional economic development', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the argument that creating a 'regional identity' that embraces entrepreneurship, innovation and change also serves to create an environment that supports economic growth. This thesis constructs a broad, multi-disciplinary framework by which the relationship between the key variables of 'identity', 'power' and 'prosperity' is explored using Richard Florida's concept of the 'creative class.'

Florida argues that 'creative' people drive regional economic growth. Furthermore, these people are increasingly mobile, and are attracted to regions that embrace a particular set of lifestyle values. Florida identifies six themes or factors that influence the locational decisions of members of the 'creative class.' This thesis uses Florida's six factors in locational decision-making to form the basis of six criteria by which regional identities can be evaluated — competitive advantages, thick labour markets and innovation, lifestyle, diversity, authenticity and identity/status. This thesis also places the work of Florida in the context of broader regional development theories.

This thesis shows that the 'creative class' approach can also be used to explain how regional identity affects regional economic performance — or why image matters in regional economic development. Furthermore, the 'creative class' approach can also be used prescriptively to develop a framework for the redefinition of regional identities in order to improve economic outcomes over time. Florida's approach is still a relatively recent addition to regional economic development theory, and the extension of Florida's analysis to the broader concept of regional identity represents a new contribution to the field.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Prins, Stewart
Keywords: Community development, Community development, Regionalism, Regionalism, Regional economics
Copyright Holders: The Author
Additional Information:

Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 2004. Includes bibliographical references

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