Bryan Caplan  

Fund-Raising and the Independent Scholar

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Arnold writes:
Think tanks, like universities, may be ripe for disintermediation. Although I think my writing for Cato helped my personal brand, I would rather be viewed as an independent scholar. I view scholars as personal brands, and I do not think that affiliation with a think tank adds anything to their personal brands.
I can think of one thing that think tanks add to personal brands: economies of scale in fund-raising.  How many independent scholars manage to support themselves on donations?  Almost none.  How many think tanks manage to support themselves on donations?  Almost all. 

Fund-raisers are selling affiliation.  And affiliating with a team of scholars is a lot more satisfying for the typical donor than affiliating with lone wolves.

COMMENTS (1 to date)
btf writes:

I'd give money to the Caplan foundation to support Bryan Caplan's musings, but that is just me, and unfortunately for you I don't have much of an endowment to offer.

Isn't that a main point of blogging though, it allows for independent thinkers/writers to be (somewhat) supported by their fans without the requirement of a middle man or affiliation? If that is the case do you think in the future there will be less money and influence in think tanks?

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