Ana Isabel Escalona Orcao, Luis Antonio Sáez Pérez, Belén Sánchez-Valverde García

Patterns and drivers of cultural economy in Spain’s extra-metropolitan small towns

Research on the location of cultural and creative firms has traditionally focused on large cities, but small towns are also likely to hold them. This work investigates which factors determine cultural specialisation in a group of 46 extrametropolitan Spanish towns with 30-50,000 inhabitants.

We consider factors related to markets and government policies —hard factors— and new factors related to amenities, tolerance, and the local climate —soft factors—. When we check them statistically, the greatest explanatory power is attributed to some hard-type factors such as economic activity and human capital, as well as the distance to urban markets. In contrast, the expectations raised by the soft factors are not confirmed.

Keywords: cultural economy; cultural clusters; extra-metropolitan areas; small towns; Spain

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