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Investing in Human Capital
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  • 22 b/w illus. 24 tables
  • Page extent: 250 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.51 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 378.3/62
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: LB2340 .L54 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Student loans
    • Education, Higher--Finance
    • Human capital

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521828406 | ISBN-10: 0521828406)

Most higher education finance literature assumes that students cannot pledge their future earnings to finance their education in a free society. Investing in Human Capital, first published in 2004, challenges that assumption and explores human capital contracts as an alternative mechanism for financing higher education. Investing in Human Capital tracks the roots of the idea behind human capital contracts, discusses the beneficial consequences they would have on students and on higher education markets, and describes how they can develop in light of the innovations that have taken place in financial markets during the last decades. The book also explores the challenges - ethical and financial - that such instruments face and offers implementation alternatives that can bring about their existence in the context of a national higher education financing programme.

• Offers an innovative - some would say controversial - approach to the problem of financing higher education • Combines insights from finance and education economics • Strong policy interest including a description of how to implement higher education funding as a government initiative


List of figures; List of tables; Foreword; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. The Problem of Financing Education: 1. The value of education; 2. Market failure in the financing of education; 3. The need for alternatives to traditional funding; Part II. Equity-Like Investments to Finance Education: 4. The evolution of human capital contracts; 5. How human capital contracts work; 6. The case for human capital contracts; 7. Human capital options; Part III. Implementing Human Capital Contracts: 8. Hurdles in the implementation of human capital contracts; 9. Lessons from the implementation of income-contingent loans; 10. Government-driven implementation of human capital contracts; 11. Conclusion; Appendices; Notes; References; Index.


'Miguel Palacios Lleras has written the authoritative work on the revolution that is underway to integrate human capital into our financial system. The book makes the dimensions of this revolution clear, and provides real impetus and inspiration to propel it to the next level in the future. The results for our society and our lives will be profound.' Robert J. Schiller, Yale University, and author of The New Financial Order and Irrational Exuberance

'Little can be more important to the welfare of our civilization than finding ways to match educational opportunities to human capability. Too often, human resources are squandered by failure to make these opportunities available to deserving but poorly financed individuals. Investing in Human Capital describes an exciting remedy: equity investments in the fruits of educational investment. Although this idea is not new, it is virtually untried and this book more than any other shows in detail how to turn it into a successful reality.' Mark Rubinstein, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

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