Government Managing Risk

My colleague Professor Bruce Chapman has a new book out on income-contingent loans, entitled Government Managing Risk: Income-Contingent Loans for Social and Economic Progress. The book discusses ways in which the HECS model for student loans could be applied to the payment of fines for white-collar crime, investment in low-income communities, assistance to athletes, and drought relief (topical, non?). 

Bruce’s ideas on income-contingent loans have probably had more influence on policy than anything done by any other living Australian economists. So it’s no surprise that the book is being launched by Australia’s most senior bureaucrat – Peter Shergold – this Thursday (2 Nov) at 5.15pm in the Ronald Wilson Building at ANU. All welcome.

One of the findings of Bruce’s research is that an increase in the costs of university had very little impact on attendance decisions. Putting (your) money where his mouth is, Bruce has clearly decided to test the same theory with book-buyers. At the special promotional price, the book costs $110 (RRP $256). If you can’t pay it in one go, why not ask Bruce if he’ll deduct the cost from your wages in installments?

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3 Responses to Government Managing Risk

  1. derrida derider says:

    As you know, pricing is done by the publisher, not the author. Publishers have different incentives to authors – even if the author is a pure profit maximiser (ie doesn’t care for things like academic prestige or influence of ideas) the cost of a marginal sale is zero; he’s already borne the fixed and sunk costs. But it’s positive to the publisher, who bears the additional printing, distribution and promotion costs.

    Still you’ve gotta think this publisher has misjudged the demand curve – the main market for a book like this is not to students or libraries, so the elasticity of demand is likely to be higher than for textbook and reference books. I’d be really pissed about it if I was Bruce.

  2. Yes, I was rather taken aback by the price.

  3. cba says:

    “At the special promotional price, the book costs $110 (RRP $256).”

    that’s better than the HECS early repayment discount!

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