Is there a creative sector? Talk at LSE

This theoretical intervention, at this time only a slide show but later feeding into a set of papers, reflects on the findings of Creativity: London’s Core Business. It was presented to an ESRC seminar at the LSE, late in 2003. The need for this contribution arose because of a central question which arises because the creative ‘sector’ is a ‘satellite’ account category – it groups together parts of industries that already appear in the National accounts. In consequence, if policy measures are taken to deal specifically with the Creative Sector, and at the same time further measures are taken to address sectors in the national accounts which include creative industries, such as IT, for example, then there is said to be a risk of ‘double-dipping’ – the same industries receiving disbursements from two sources, when actually (it was felt) they should only get support from one. Personally, I did not see this as a problem, but it was regarded as one in the Economics Unit. Therefore, I opened a wider enquiry which addresses the question ‘what, actually, is a branch of the economy?’ and, if so, are we justified in speaking of a ‘creative branch’ of the economy?