In Creativity, Defining and Measuring, Economics, Mental Objects, Science, States and Nations

This paper was the fruit of a further collaboration between Hasan Bakhshi, Peter Higgs and myself in an attempt to examine the intersection between the creative industries and the ‘STEM’ scientific industries. It was difficult for many reasons, not least that there was (surprisingly) actually a far smaller consensus around what constitutes the science-based industries, than around what constituted the creative industries. As a result, we had to examine a quite wide variety of potential definitions of the science-based industries using the intensity approach, and ask whether any obvious empirical correspondences emerged between definitions and reality. I have to say that the answer is ‘No’. It also emerged that the scientific and creative industries, on any criterion so far presented, did not on the whole overlap. Curiously, this establishes that the ‘smart’ industrial sector, comprising the amalgam of the creative and scientific, is even larger than might otherwise be expected. Since they hardly intersect, their sum is correspondingly large.

I should emphasise that this has no bearing on the causal or productive relations between the two broad ‘sectors’. The fact that two economic branches of the division of labour employ distinct groups of people does not in the least entitle us to conclude that there is no relation between them. However, it does inform us that the exact nature of this relation is a matter for further study.

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