Edited by David J. Bobb
Economic Opportunity in Boston: An Index of Economic Opportunity for Small Entrepreneurs provides a first look at the costs of regulatory mandates on small business in Boston. In the absence of other serviceable attempts to assess the consequences of regulatory barriers on small businesses, it seeks to establish a framework for measuring the cost of regulation and for weighing these costs against the benefits they may provide. The preparation of the Index was motivated by the question of whether and to what degree an entrepreneurially inclined individual, who is able and hardworking, can succeed in Boston today. With a proud history firmly anchored in enterprise, New England—and Boston in particular—has long enjoyed the reputation of having provided a cultural and political climate beneficial to small entrepreneurs and promoting the mercantile talent of its citizens. The evidence collected in this paper, however, attests to the fact that the regulatory system currently practiced in Boston has erected strict and expensive barriers to market entry that severely deter micro-level entrepreneurs.