97 research outputs found

    The Business Consortium Fund: working capital for MBEs

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    The New England Minority Purchasing Council offers minority business enterprises (MBEs) help in obtaining short-term working capital.Commercial loans - New England ; Small business - New England ; Minority business enterprises - New England

    Overborrowing and undersaving: lessons and policy implications from research in behavioral economics

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    The U.S. household carries over $7,500 in uncollateralized debt and likely saves at a negative rate. There is a growing body of evidence that this borrowing and saving behavior may not, as assumed by standard economics, be the product of rational financial planning. This paper discusses insights from behavioral economics on how self-control problems could play a crucial role in determining such financial outcomes. It is important to note that self-control problems, as defined in this paper, are thought of as an issue affecting all people, not just those involved in our specific research. ; The paper reports results from a field study targeted to low-to-moderate income individuals conducted in Dorchester, MA. It links measured self-control to borrowing and savings outcomes taken from individual credit reports and survey questions respectively. We find that self-control problems are associated with higher borrowing, specifically on credit cards, and lower savings of income tax refunds. The paper discusses how policy prescriptions built around addressing self-control issues could prove helpful in improving financial outcomes.Consumer credit ; Saving and investment

    Jobs in Springfield, Massachusetts: understanding and remedying the causes of low resident employment rates

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    As part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's commitment to supporting efforts to revitalize the economy of Springfield, Massachusetts, this paper explores the causes of and potential remedies for the city's low resident employment rates. When compared to the state as a whole and to other midsize New England cities, the share of employed city residents is low, particularly for residents of downtown Springfield and its nearby neighborhoods. By analyzing the availability of jobs across Springfield's various neighborhoods and in nearby towns and cities, this paper's goal is to learn why so few Springfield residents are employed, and thus to identify policy priorities to increase employment. This study finds that solving Springfield's low resident employment rates will require a combination of new job creation, improved informational and physical access to jobs, and strengthening the citizenry's job skills.Economic conditions - Massachusetts ; Job creation - Massachusetts ; Unemployment - Massachusetts

    Greater Springfield employment challenges: findings of employer survey and interviews

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    This paper presents the findings from in-depth interviews and a survey of employers in the Greater Springfield area regarding (a) employment opportunities for entry-level workers with limited skills and (b) barriers that residents of Springfield's low-income neighborhoods face in accessing these jobs. The survey and interviews indicate that entry-level jobs that do not require college are available in the Springfield area. However, even entry-level jobs require the ability to perform a variety of tasks, and many applicants lack the skills needed to perform these jobs or have work readiness problems. Lack of prior experience and the absence of referral networks limit access to these jobs for residents of Springfield's low-income neighborhoods.Cities and towns - Massachusetts ; Labor market - Massachusetts

    Towards a more prosperous Springfield, MA: what jobs exist for people without a college education?

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    This paper analyzes projections of Massachusetts employment opportunities by occupation to address concerns about a shortage of jobs for those who lack a college education. While occupations requiring a college degree will grow more rapidly over the period 2006-2016 than occupations that do not require college, replacement needs will ensure large numbers of job openings that do not require college. Wage levels in jobs that do not require college are generally low, however. The exceptions usually require meaningful training of another sort, such as long-term on-the-job training or courses in postsecondary schools or community college. Additionally, some individuals who demonstrate the necessary qualities achieve higher wages through promotion. The distribution of occupations in the Springfield metropolitan area is sufficiently similar to that in Massachusetts that inferences from the Massachusetts projections should be relevant to Springfield.Cities and towns - Massachusetts ; Labor market - Massachusetts

    Reinvigorating Springfield's economy: lessons from resurgent cities

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    As part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's commitment to supporting efforts to revitalize the economy of Springfield, Massachusetts, this paper analyzes the economic development approaches of other mid-sized manufacturing-oriented cities during the past half century. From among a comparison group of 25 municipalities that were similar to Springfield in 1960, the study identifies 10 "resurgent cities" that have made substantial progress in improving living standards for their residents, and that are recognized as vital communities in a broader sense by experts on urban economic development and policy. These case studies suggest that industry mix, demographic composition, and geographic position are not the key factors distinguishing the resurgent cities from Springfield. Instead, the most important lessons from the resurgent cities concern leadership and collaboration. Initial leadership in these cities came from a variety of key institutions and individuals. In some cases, the turnaround started with efforts on the part of the public sector, while in other cases nongovernmental institutions or private developers were at the forefront. Regardless of who initiated the turnaround, economic redevelopment efforts spanned decades and involved collaborations among numerous organizations and sectors.Cities and towns ; Cities and towns - Massachusetts ; Economic policy - Massachusetts

    Few-Layer Graphene Kills Selectively Tumor Cells from Myelomonocytic Leukemia Patients

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    In the cure of cancer, a major cause of todayQs mortality, chemotherapy is the most common treatment, though serious frequent challenges are encountered by current anticancer drugs. We discovered that few-layer graphene (FLG) dispersions have a specific killer action on monocytes, showing neither toxic nor activation effects on other immune cells. We confirmed the therapeutic application of graphene on an aggressive type of cancer that is myelomonocytic leukemia, where the monocytes are in their malignant form. We demonstrated that graphene has the unique ability to target and boost specifically the necrosis of monocytic cancer cells. Moreover, the comparison between FLG and a common chemotherapeutic drug, etoposide, confirmed the higher specificity and toxicity of FLG. Since current chemotherapy treatments of leukemia still cause serious problems, these findings open the way to new and safer therapeutic approaches

    Widespread Genomic Signatures of Natural Selection in Hominid Evolution

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    Selection acting on genomic functional elements can be detected by its indirect effects on population diversity at linked neutral sites. To illuminate the selective forces that shaped hominid evolution, we analyzed the genomic distributions of human polymorphisms and sequence differences among five primate species relative to the locations of conserved sequence features. Neutral sequence diversity in human and ancestral hominid populations is substantially reduced near such features, resulting in a surprisingly large genome average diversity reduction due to selection of 19鈥26% on the autosomes and 12鈥40% on the X chromosome. The overall trends are broadly consistent with 鈥渂ackground selection鈥 or hitchhiking in ancestral populations acting to remove deleterious variants. Average selection is much stronger on exonic (both protein-coding and untranslated) conserved features than non-exonic features. Long term selection, rather than complex speciation scenarios, explains the large intragenomic variation in human/chimpanzee divergence. Our analyses reveal a dominant role for selection in shaping genomic diversity and divergence patterns, clarify hominid evolution, and provide a baseline for investigating specific selective events
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