Government managing risk through income contingent loans conference

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Income Contingent Loans (ICLs) have a long history in labour economics. Indeed, Australian labour economists have played a seminal role in the conceptual development of the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) in Australia – a process which demonstrated how such policies can overcome real issues for ICLs in a practical and effective manner. This Issue of the journal examines a range of proposals for applying ICLs in new contexts, with a view to understanding both how such schemes work and what the limits to such policies might be. As argued in the previous issue of The Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), the journal should provide stimulating articles that are of interest to labour economists rather than being solely about labour economics per se. This Issue of the journal clearly fits this description by exploring and developing some creative applications of ICLs.

In late 2008 the AJLE sought submissions for a special issue devoted to articles from the papers presented to the Government Managing Risk Through Income Contingent Loans Conference held at the Australian National University on 4-5 August 2008. The conference, funded under a project supported by the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Learned Academies Special Projects Scheme and run by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, sought to analyse issues surrounding ‘Government as risk manager’. Both the journal and the contributors to this issue gratefully acknowledge the support of the ARC and the Academy of the Social Sciences in this endeavour. Neither institution necessarily agrees with the analysis or policy suggestions …

(From the introduction, Exploring Creative Appliances of Income Contingent Loans, p.133)

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