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Preview: HBS Working Knowledge

HBS Working Knowledge

Updated: 2018-02-22T16:38:12Z


The New History of American Capitalism


Historians are taking a new look at capitalism in light of its adoption in most of the developed world. From the edited volume "American Capitalism: New Histories," by Sven Beckert and Christine Desan.

Debt Traps? Market Vendors and Moneylender Debt in India and the Philippines


Small-scale entrepreneurs throughout the developing world often rely on moneylenders for working capital but at exorbitant interest rates. Results of three experiments involving market vendors in India and the Philippines show the difficulty that small-scale entrepreneurs face in escaping usage of moneylender debt. Research by Benjamin N. Roth and colleagues.

When a Competitor Abandons the Market, Should You Advance or Retreat?


Companies pay close attention when a competitor drops out of the market, according to new research by Joshua Lev Krieger. Too often, though, they come to the wrong conclusion.

First Look at New Research and Ideas, February 20, 2018


Out of debt--then right back in ... Why Chinese students flood American universities ... Studying how people make decisions.

Stock Market Returns and Consumption


Using a unique dataset for the entire Swedish population, this study of household consumption in response to changes in capital gains and dividends shows that the marginal propensity to consume (MPC) out of capital gains for households in the top 50 percent of financial wealth distribution is relatively uniform and around 5 percent but is more than 10 percent for the bottom 50 percent. These results explain why the recent stock market rally ignited a spending splurge that is cutting into how much households save for rainy days. Research by Marco Di Maggio and colleagues.

Amazoned: Is Any Industry Safe?


Like the Amazon River itself, Jeff Bezos's company cuts a powerful, meandering channel through the business landscape, changing every industry it touches.

The Supply Chain Economy: A New Framework for Understanding Innovation and Services


This study shows that a large and dynamic supply chain economy plays a crucial role in innovation and in the creation of well-paid jobs. Traded service suppliers are particularly important. Policies that help suppliers access skilled labor, buyers, and capital could be beneficial for fostering innovation and economic growth.

A New Categorization of the US Economy: The Role of Supply Chain Industries in Innovation and Economic Performance


Mercedes Delgado and Karen G. Mills provide a novel industry categorization that quantifies the supply chain economy in the United States. Suppliers of goods, and particularly services, to business and government are a distinct and large sector, and play an important role in national innovation and economic performance.

Can Financial Innovation Solve Household Reluctance to Take Risk?


Structured products are an innovative class of retail financial products with option-like features. This paper by Boris Vallée and colleagues provides empirical evidence suggesting that innovative financial products like these can help alleviate loss aversion and thus the low participation of households in risky asset markets.