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Niklas Blanchard responded to my post on education funding with some very interesting thoughts, and since my manfunctioning computer gobbled my attempt to comment on his response (I think) I figured I’d respond here:

Mainly, his ideas are promising, or at least interesting. I think Zingales’ idea to fund education with equity is promising in theory but in practice has bad optics, but apprenticeship-style education support is not only a very good idea but one that is already in practice. I can’t find any link to this but I know through personal experience that the Montgomery County, MD school district subsidizes graduate education in education in exchange for a guarantee of a minimum term of service. I could definitely envision more firms and institution identifying promising future employees and offering them scholarships or fellowships in exchange for some claim on their future labor as opposed to their future income. Note, also, that this is the inverse GI Bill model; there, service precedes education. That model may also be promising but could run into some pension-insolvency-type-problems if the firm promising the funding proved unable (as opposed to merely unwilling) to provide the promised funding due to bankruptcy, which might make the money-first model more popular.

Which reminds me – I have some fellowship applications to complete myself. If only blogging paid the bills!