Religious Spending, Taking Risks, and More – Boston News

Religious Spending

Let’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week.

Shoppers with Strong Religious Beliefs Spend Less and Make Fewer Impulse PurchasesHarvard Business Review

The Harvard Business School recently published an article in the Harvard Business Review that illuminates a fascinating correlation between grocery spending and religiosity—as the latter rises, the former falls.

The researchers write, “We found that for each 20 percent increase in the number of religious adherents in a county, annual grocery sales per store decreases, on average, by about $125,000. [Our] results showed that shoppers living in more religious U.S. counties spent less money on groceries and also made fewer impulse purchases than those living in less religious U.S. counties.”

The implications of the research are vast and wide reaching, particularly for retailers. They explain further:

“Because being reminded about God increases shoppers’ frugality, they may be more sensitive to price discounts and promotions (such as “buy one, get one free”) around the time of religious holidays and observances. Getting a good deal, particularly on an impulse buy, is likely to alleviate shoppers’ heightened frugality.”

The researchers also speculate that “retailers may also allay religious shoppers’ concerns about being frugal by offering deals that demonstrate respect for their values, such as promising to donate a percentage of revenue from a particular product to a local charity.”

You can check out the full article here.

When Regulation Doesn’t Throttle Risk-TakingQuestrom School of Business Blog

New Management Science research from Questrom School of Business Accounting Professor Ana Albuquerque and Fudan University’s Julie Lei Zhu finds the positive impacts of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which required companies to implement internal controls on financial reporting.

According to the article, “not only did filing firms not decrease their investment activities, some measures suggested that firms actually increased their investments after the reporting requirements were put into place. Filing firms also appeared to benefit in other ways. Banks typically offered filing firms larger loans with lower collateral requirements compared to non-filing firms.”

Albuquerque writes, “Credit terms improved [for filing firms], because they were disclosing more information. The benefit was higher than the cost of compliance.”

You can read more here.

These 12 startups are Re-Imagining the Latin American Workplace and WorkforceMIT Sloan Newsroom 

MIT Sloan recently announced the 12 Latin American finalists of the its global Inclusive Innovation Challenge, all of which will travel to São Paulo, Brazil in just a few weeks “where they will pitch their ideas at the IIC Latin America Celebration.”

According to the article, “the winner of each category then goes on to compete in November during the Global Grand Prize Gala at MIT. The gala includes four $250,000 prizes, one for each category.”

Initiative Director Erik Brynjolfsson writes, “If we employ inclusive innovation globally, it could be the best thing that ever happened to humanity. We can have more wealth, better health, and widely held prosperity.”

Here’s a quick overview of each of the 12 Latin American finalists:

  • Interacpedia “connects university student teams with organizations to generate the development of new skills/jobs and opportunities.”
  • Signa is a “platform that provides deaf people with online digital economy courses.”
  • Sumá is a “fair marketing platform that connects family farmers with food buyers.”
  • Alò Bodega is a “mobile app for Latin American and Asian corner stores.”
  • Apli is an “artificial intelligence-enabled jobs marketplace.”
  • Incluyeme is an “online job portal for people in Latin America with disabilities.”
  • Grupo Nueva Economía is “developing new digital channels for small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
  • Outbound Initiative “connects innovators from underrepresented regions — in this case Brazil — with business opportunities using data-combing artificial intelligence.”
  • RedeDots is a “social network of more than 220,000 people engaged in the fair trade and sustainable business market.”
  • LEVEE “uses machine learning, geolocation, and mobile messages to connect people with job opportunities.”
  • Trocafone “aims to reduce e-waste by creating a marketplace for used electronics.”
  • UnDosTres “offers Mexico residents mobile payment for services like prepaid cellphone recharging, movie ticket purchases, electricity, and phone bills.”

You can read more about the startups here. 


About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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