Creative and academic professions: an analysis of residential selection patterns of highly-skilled persons in the region of Basel, Switzerland

This article investigates the relation between different residential site parameters and the concentration/development of human capital. Human capital is understood here to refer to highly skilled professionals. In particular, the preferences made by persons exercising creatice or academic professions with regards residential area in the region of Basel are investigated. Results are compared to residential trends in the population at large.

The investigation highlights the strong tendency of creative and academic professionals to live in communes with low taxation rates and high tolerance values. However, the analysis of relative population change in the 1990’s indicates that it is not, as until recently suspected, a particular package of residential parameters that attract highly skilled professionals to a new place. Rather, it would seem that the chance to influence the parameters of a new residential location holds the greater attraction for this target group. Further, the observation was made, that relocation of highly skilled professionals form the centre to peripheral areas in the region of Basel during this period remained constant. Thus, not only does suburbanization appear to remain dominant in the region, it is a process which appears to affect all population groups.