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

Dickens microlending

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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