Associate Professor, Northeastern University 
Research Associate, NBER
Welcome to my research page. Here is my c.v.

I study how platforms and marketplaces can be better designed for growth and performance. 

Large numbers of problem-solvers can be organized on platforms of various kinds and a variety of ways. I use large-scale econometric and field experimental studies to investigate fundamental microeconomic and behavioral determinants of behavior and performance. The goal is to understand ways that platforms can be designed and organized to accelerate advances in knowledge, new ideas, technology, science, research, commercialization and learning. 


  • Jan 2018 University of Michigan
  • March 2018 Economics of Online Platforms Conference (University of Florida Law & Economics Departments)
  • May 2018 Stanford University


  • Digital Mash-ups, Patents, and Copyright
  • Expectations, Evangelism, and Platform Adoption: Field Experimental Evidence
  • Women in Tech: A Large-Scale, Wide-Coverage Field Experiment on STEM, Collaboration, & Competition
  • Experimental Evidence on Cooperative Education, Human Capital Development, and Careers
  • Multi-Disciplinary Problems and the Crowd: A Series of Field Experiments


Amateurs play a role in many markets, albeit often from the sidelines. Digital marketplaces—frequented by “crowds” of amateurs—provide an opportunity to study the industrial organization of amateurs alongside professionals, and implications for products.
Rather than organize as traditional firms, many of today's companies organize as platforms that sit at the nexus of multiple exchange and production relationships. This paper considers a most basic question of organization in platform contexts: the choice of boundaries. 
Today's crowdfunding raises funds for tiny, private entrepreneurial ventures without granting funders private claims to a project's future value. Rather than “investments,” these are “contributions.” This paper argues that for such crowdfunding neither producer nor consumer surplus – i.e., project quality, in traditional terms – will play a direct role in determining funding.
In contrast to traditional models of winner-take-all outcomes in digital markets, many of today's digital innovators face intensive competition – even where prevailing price is zero. This paper investigates how network effects and “freemium” strategies, typical of winner-take-all contexts, work in such competitive conditions. 

    • Lakhani, K., K. Boudreau, C. Baldwin, A. MacCormack, E. Guinan, et al. (2013) "Prize-based contests can provide solutions to computational biology problems." Nature Biotechnology31(2):108. 


    • Guinan, E., K. Boudreau, K. Lakhani.  (2013) "Experiments in Open Innovation at the Harvard Medical School." MIT Sloan Management Review54(3): 45-52.


    Dr. Boudreau's research studies how platforms of various kinds can be designed to orchestrate large numbers of actors to solve challenging innovation problems.  He is an Associate Professor of Northeastern, affiliated with Entrepreneurship & Innovation, the Department of Economics, the College of Computer & Information Science, and the IoT Research Cluster within the College of Engineering and Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex. He is a research associate at the NBER in the Productivity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship program. 

    Kevin's research has been published in journals such as Management Science, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Research Policy, the Review of Economics and Statistics, and Nature Biotech—and has been funded and supported by organizations such as Google, Microsoft, the Kauffman Foundation, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Paris Chamber of Commerce. He is an assistant editor of Management Science in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and in Business Strategy departments. He is on the editorial board of the Strategic Management Journal.

    He has degrees from MIT (Ph.D. in Behavioral and Policy Sciences), University of Toronto (Master of Arts in Economics) and the University of Waterloo (Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering).  Prior to pursuing academic research, Kevin held positions at The Economist Group, Qualcomm, Braxton Associates and the Canadian Space Agency.

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