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Income Contingent Loans Theory, Practice and Prospects

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Income Contingent Loans Theory, Practice and Prospects by Stiglitz, Joseph E.; Higgins, Timothy; Chapman, Bruce, 9781137413192
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  • ISBN: 9781137413192 | 1137413190
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/28/2014
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As an income contingent loans bill is considered by the US Congress, income contingent loans (ICL) have risen to the forefront of economic discourse. ICLs are collected through the income taxation system and are repaid only when future incomes exceed a specified level. ICLs were first introduced in Australia in 1989 to help college students finance their tuition costs, and since then many countries have followed this policy approach. Bruce Chapman, Timothy Higgins and Joseph E. Stiglitz along with a host of internationally recognised experts who have been instrumental in impacting national policy in this field, explore the theory of ICLs, and the prospect of applying the basic principles to many other potential areas of social and economic policy such as paid parental leave; recompensing poor countries for skilled migrant emigration; legal aid for civil disputes; business innovation for small and medium enterprises; out-of-pocket health care expenditure needs; and for periods of unemployment.

The text describes an alternative approach to ICLs, which takes the form of human capital contracts or graduate taxes, as well as examining hybrid schemes that combine the attractive aspects of both arrangements. Case studies are used to examine the prospects for ICLs for higher education in Malaysia, Germany, Thailand, Chile and Colombia, and there is discussion of the barriers for adoption of ICLs in countries that lack efficient institutions for debt collection.

A key message from the contributions is that in countries with appropriate institutions for taxation administration, there are considerable transactional efficiencies associated with ICLs. These efficiencies, combined with the improvements in risk and incentives that well-designed ICL programs can provide, suggest that such programs can play an important role in a modern welfare state.

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