Title: The creative class thesis and the mobility patterns of knowledge workers considering the place of birth: the case of Montreal

Authors: Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay, Sebastien Darchen

Addresses: 100, rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Teluq-UQAM, Montreal, (Qc) H2X 3P2, Canada. ' Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, (ON) M3J 1P3, Canada

Abstract: The creative class thesis of economic development has had a major impact on the understanding of knowledge and creative workers and on the analysis of the mobility of human capital. Using quantitative and qualitative material, our paper examines the influence of quality of place and career opportunities on the mobility of students in science and technology fields as a proxy for the professional category of |the knowledge workers|. Our results show that the criteria linked to quality of place has a greater impact on the attraction and retention of students from abroad than for the domestic-born groups. These results could partly confirm some of the assumptions of the creative class about the attraction of knowledge workers. However, we remain sceptical about urban policies that create incentives based solely on this thesis of economic development to attract talents or knowledge workers.

Keywords: attraction; retention; knowledge workers; creative class; quality of place; economic development; mobility patterns; birthplace; Montreal; Canada; human capital; science and technology; urban policy; incentives.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKBD.2010.035658

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 2010 Vol.1 No.3, pp.176 - 203

Published online: 01 Oct 2010 *

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