Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Resource Economics and Policy


Todd M. Gabe

Second Committee Member

Kathleen P. Bell

Third Committee Member

James C. McConnon


Civic leaders across the country were quick to act on the observations, made by Richard Florida in his best selling novel, The Rise of the Creative Class, that creative workers are good for the local economy. This research uses econometric analysis to characterize the relationship between creative workers and earnings in United States counties. Regression results indicate workforce creativity does enhance earnings. This positive relationship is driven largely by technical occupations held by the creative class. Other creative occupations are negatively associated with earnings. By demonstrating differential impacts by occupation these findings illuminate the heterogeneity among the creative class, complicating the economic development strategies centered on the creative economy.