How creative is the Dutch economy?
A first result was published in the ESB (Economic-Statistical News) on March 7th 2008. Among others, it showed that the creative level of the Dutch economy, measured in this way increased from 13, 8% in the period 1996-1998 to 14.7% in the period 2004-2006.
Marco Mossinkoff, member of the professorship Art, Culture and Economy is now working on a further analysis of the results in these calculations. A shorter presentation of these first results by Dany Jacobs was published in the magazine Intellectual Capital. This article appears below.
In the Netherlands, Marlet and Van Woerkens (2004) made their own calculations based on the same professions, only with a limited definition - they excluded for example the clerks (with the exception of scientists), as well as most administrative occupations, managers and salespeople in non-creative sectors. This led to an estimate of 19% for 2002, coming from 17.3% in 1996. Another approach often followed in the Netherlands is to count all people working in a creative sector, in arts, media and entertainment and in creative professional services. These sectors amounted to 2% of employment in 2004 concerning the initial and conceptual creation. Including production, distribution and retailing in those sectors, we then count 3.2% (Poort et al 2006).
Estimates of the number of creative people in the Dutch economy vary from 2-47%, without rate of precision. Then we have to assume that in the creative industries or a creative group everyone is busy creating all the time, which seems rather incorrect. Therefore I worked with two researchers of Statistics Netherlands (Mies Bernelot Moens and Sue Westerman) on an alternative, fuzzy calculation. The results were published in the Economic-Statistical News from March 7th. We have used the Standard Occupational Classification (SBC) which includes more than 1200 jobs. For each of these professions, we estimated the value of the creative level.
In our view creativity is not only created work, but it also relates to intervention in more diffuse and complex situations, leadership, sales etc. Managing a difficult meeting or dealing with a group of street kids as an officer can require more creativity than painting. Conversely, we presumed that people who occupy a position under the direct supervision of another, provide less creative work. In negative terms, we try to estimate to what extent a position can be occupied repetitively by working experience. We have allocated all professions to various potential categories of creativity: from 1% (minimum forms of pattern recognition) up to 75%. The number of workers per job is defined and then calculated in working hours. On this number of hours per job, the percentages of creative time mentioned above are applied to calculate how many hours are spent creatively. This calculation is applied to data from the CBS Survey for Total Working Population for the periods 1996-1998 and 2004-2006. Calculated in this way, the creativity of the entire Dutch economy increased from 13.8% in the period 1996-1998 to 14.7% in the period 2004-2006. That is an increase of 0.9% of the creativity of the Dutch economy over a period of 8 years. It is said 2% inspiration and 98% perspiration, which is more and steadily increasing.
[research initiated by ourselves]