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Eric Alan Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and an expert on education policy. His main area of interest is the economics of education, focusing on controversial areas of education policy including the class size reduction, high stakes accountability, and the importance of teacher quality. Hanushek received his PhD in economics from MIT and is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy.


Hanushek is a member of the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and chairman of the Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas. He has been appointed to a variety of federal and state adviser boards including being a Presidential appointment to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences and a member of the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Education Excellence in California and the Governor’s Commission for a College Ready Texas. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the International Academy of Education, of the Society of Labor Economists, and of the American Educational Research Association. He was awarded the Fordham Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 2004. He served in the federal government as Deputy Director of the Congressional Budget Office.


He is best known for his analysis of the determinants of academic achievement. This analysis has documented the inconsistent relationship between school resources and student outcomes.[1] The overall findings have proved to be very controversial and have led to a variety of scholarly exchanges over time. The research related to the ineffectiveness of class size reduction has been particularly controversial and has entered into a variety of policy debates.[2] At the same time, the research shows the overwhelming importance of teacher quality, although teacher quality is not closely related to the salaries, education, or experience of teachers. He was the first researcher to measure teacher effectiveness by the learning gains of the teacher's students.[3] This work is the foundation of the now-common approach to assessing teacher quality by the "value-added" of the teacher. The research on the effectiveness of educational resources has been central to many debates about school finance and has been a component of court cases about state funding of schools. In other work he has shown that cognitive skills are very closely related to economic outcomes, not only for individuals but also for nations. Variations in growth rates across countries can be largely explained by consideration of the role of cognitive skills.[4] This analysis provides a justification for state and federal accountability systems that promote higher skills through improved school quality. His 2009 book with Alfred Lindseth, Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses: Solving the Funding-Achievement Puzzle in America's Public Schools, analyzes the shortcomings of U.S. school funding and policies and proposes a new system of performance-based funding to improve school outcomes. His other books on education include Courting Failure, Handbook on the Economics of Education, The Economics of Schooling and School Quality, Improving America’s Schools, Making Schools Work, Educational Performance of the Poor, and Education and Race. A listing of his other books and of his 200 plus professional articles is found on his website [1].

  1. Eric A. Hanushek, "The economics of schooling," Journal of Economic Literature, 49(3), September 1986. pp. 1141-1177
  2. Eric A. Hanushek, "The failure of input-based schooling policies," Economic Journal, 113, February 2003, pp. F64-F98
  3. Eric A. Hanushek, "Teacher Characteristics and Gains in Student Achievement: Estimation Using Micro-Data," American Economic Review, 61(2), May 1971, pp. 280-288; Eric A. Hanushek, "The Trade-off Between Child Quantity and Quality," Journal of Political Economy, 100(1), February 1992, pp. 84-117; Steven G. Rivkin, Eric A. Hanushek, and John F. Kain, “Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement,” Econometrica 73(2), March 2005, pp. 417-458.
  4. Eric A. Hanushek and Dennis Kimko, "Schooling, Labor Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," American Economic Review, 90(5), December 2000, pp. 1184-1208; Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann,"The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development" , Journal of Economic Literature 46(3), September 2008:pp. 607-668

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