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Ambient Returns: Creative Capital's Contribution to Local Manufacturing Competitiveness
- Wojan, T.R., McGranahan, D.A.
- Agricultural and resource economics review 2007 v.36 no.1 pp. 133
- rural areas, manufacturing, quality of life, rural population, rural society, globalization, cost effectiveness, business enterprises, educational status, surveys, capital, rural development, Florida
- This paper addresses the possibility that competitive rural manufacturing is increasingly driven by quality-of-life factors required to attract highly skilled and creative workers. Recent findings that highly creative workers are drawn to amenity-rich rural areas provide the empiri-cal leverage for testing anecdotal claims that these areas tend to contain small manufacturing bases that are more reliant on innovation. This contrasts with the cost advantage rationale of traditional rural manufacturing, an advantage that is eroding with increased globalization. The analysis provides the first empirical evidence that the start of entrepreneurial manufacturing plants and the adoption of advanced technologies and management practices are strongly asso-ciated with the local employment share in highly creative occupations.