The Jain Family Institute

Work

Income Share Agreements

The higher education system is afflicted by a crisis of quality, affordability, and access that belies its increasingly pivotal role in building an equitable and just society.

Income Share Agreements (ISAs) are an alternative to student debt for financing higher education in which students agree to pay a percentage of their income for a fixed period of time rather than paying principal and interest. Unlike traditional loans, ISAs adjust with the students’ ability to pay— if students earn less, their payment obligations are lower. If they earn more, they pay more.

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Michael Stynes
Basic Income

The nature of work is changing, and in an era of widening inequality, legacy social safety net programs are inadequate and inefficient. Our society has the resources to raise the standard of living for all people, and the responsibility to find the most just and efficient means. Guaranteed income is a promising option, and JFI is building multiple pilots across the US to generate reliable evidence to support analysis of basic income and the broader suite of related policies.

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Michael Stynes
Digital Ethics and Governance

Powerful advances in machine learning over the past decade have brought with them explosive growth in the use of computational decision-making tools. These tools have a direct impact on hundreds of millions of lives. Yet they are often opaque, poorly understood, and impossible to hold to account. As algorithmic decision-making systems become increasingly ubiquitous, and our reliance upon them increasingly widespread, it is crucial to develop an understanding of how fairness, justice, and value considerations apply to these tools.

At JFI, we believe this must be a collaborative enterprise, engaging the technical knowledge and lived experience of a diverse range of academic experts, government policymakers, community advocates, and the general public. Our work focuses on leveraging our technical and subject-matter expertise to enable a broad spectrum of voices to meaningfully participate in informed debate on these unprecedented ethical, social, and political questions.

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Michael Stynes