Recapturing the American Dream

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MassINC is proud to present “Recapturing the American Dream: Meeting the Challenges of the Bay State’s Lost Decade.” This joint project with the Center for Labor Market Studies was made possible by the generous support of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Partners Health Care. More so than any previous report, this research sheds light on the economic well-being of workers at a moment when public attention is hyper-focused on policymaking to rekindle the promise of the American Dream for those struggling to join the middle class and remain in its ranks.

The data presented in this report show that the last decade was extremely hard for Bay State residents. For the first time since World War II, the Commonwealth ended the decade with fewer jobs and families went without a raise. The report describes how this sour economy created four key hurdles that Massachusetts must now overcome.

MassINC’s mission is to support the vitality of the state’s middle class by providing solid, objective research to inform public policy. This is the third time since our founding that we have paused to look carefully at how residents are faring in their pursuit of the American Dream. While the news is discouraging, we hope that these data encourage productive dialogue around the future of our commonwealth.

Read the full Report

Read the Executive Summary

Barcelona Success Yields Model For Boston Innovation District

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Brains In Spain Thrive In Entrepreneur Eco-System

Monday, February 6, 2012 | Global Enterprise

By Michael Lake and Robert Buckley

Special To Banker & Tradesman

The Boston region has the opportunity to leverage the development growth at Kendall Square and Longwood Medical area while building the South Boston innovation district and, accordingly, shape the future of our region’s innovation economy.

The challenge lies in how to most effectively attract and retain talent in order to create a thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem. To succeed, we need to look at successful projects around the globe utilizing innovation-related practices.

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Professor Bill Dickens and recent grad Matt Jordan are using game theory to gain a better understanding of the economics of microlending

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New success model for microfinance: A matter of trust

In some countries, poor borrowers repay loans to microcredit lenders at rates of close to 100 percent while other countries see repayment rates so low that it makes microlending unsustainable – a disparity that economists have been unable to fully understand.

“Traditional economic indicators didn’t predict anything, and the game theory analysis we have of it was suspect,” said Matt Jordan, AS ’11, who has been working with Bill Dickens, a professor of economics in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

But now, the existing understanding of the economics of microlending may be changing, thanks to work by Dickens and Jordan, who, as an undergraduate, conducted field research in the Dominican Republic, where microlending has helped bring many out of abject poverty.
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