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Places rated almanacs and roll out neoliberalism

Rogerson, Robert J. and Tremblay, Rémy (2008) Places rated almanacs and roll out neoliberalism. International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 12 (5). pp. 52-64. ISSN 1743-8268

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Abstract

This paper aims to examine the context of the emergence of Places Rated Almanacs (PRA), their success as a source of place-based knowledge, and their limitations as predictors of patterns of migration. The paper addresses whether, as an entrepreneurial product created in the spaces arising from the roll back of the nation state and the foregrounding of the local, competitive marketplace, PRAs continue to have relevance. It examines the utility of this knowledge resource in a new era where specific talent attraction and retention is central to neoliberal strategies for economic development. The paper offers an analysis of the correlations between PRA ratings and recent migration patterns is undertaken to explore their explanatory power. The contemporary significance of PRA is examined both in terms of the almanac's resonance with actual patterns of migration in the USA, and its resonance with contemporary debates over talent flows. It is concluded that place ratings offer only a partial resonance with actual patterns of mobility. Despite the changing political economic context with new neoliberal agendas in place competition, there is potentially continuing utility of such PRAs. The paper argues that greater engagement with contemporary debates over talent attraction, place attachment and social learning would enhance the knowledge basis of such guides. Within a knowledge economy, the attraction and retention of key talent has become vital. Place rating guides can be a useful resource as a tool within this neoliberal strategy for economic growth. This paper indicates how the established guides such as the PRA need to be updated to retain their utility.