Caroline M. Hoxby

Senior Fellow
Research Team: 

Caroline M. Hoxby is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education. She is the Scott & Donya Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the director of the Economics of Education Program for the National Bureau of Economic Research. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.

Hoxby's research has received numerous awards, including a Carnegie Fellowship, a John M. Olin Fellowship, a National Tax Association Award, and a major grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development. She is the recipient of the 2006 Thomas J. Fordham Prize for Distinguished Scholarship.

She has written extensively on educational choice and related issues. She is the editor of The Economic Analysis of School Choice (University of Chicago Press, 2002) and College Choices (University of Chicago Press, 2004). Some of her published articles include "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?" (American Economic Review, 2000), "Not All School Finance Equalizations Are Created Equal" (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001), and "How Teachers' Unions Affect Education Production" (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1996).

Other articles written by Hoxby include "The Effects of School Choice on Curriculum and Atmosphere" (in Earning and Learning: How Schools Matter), "The Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement" (Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1999), and "Evidence on Private School Vouchers: Effects on Schools and Students" (in Performance Based Approaches to School Reform).

Hoxby, who was the subject of a feature article in The New Yorker, has an undergraduate degree, a master's degree, and a doctorate in economics. She earned her master's degree in 1990 from the University of Oxford, which she attended on a Rhodes Scholarship, and her doctorate in 1994 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Recent Commentary

What High-Achieving Low-Income Students Know About College

by Caroline M. Hoxby, Sarah Turnervia The American Economic Review (P&P)
Friday, May 1, 2015

Previous work (Hoxby and Avery 2014) shows that low-income higher achievers tend not to apply to selective colleges despite being extremely likely to be admitted with financial aid so generous that they would pay less than they do to attend the non-selective schools they usually attend.

The Returns to the Federal Tax Credits for Higher Education

by Caroline M. Hoxby, George Bulmanvia Tax Policy and the Economy
Monday, February 9, 2015

Three tax credits benefit households who pay tuition and fees for higher education. The credits have been justified as an investment: generating more educated people and thus more earnings and externalities associated with education. The credits have also been justified purely as tax cuts to benefit the middle class.

Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income Students

by Caroline M. Hoxby, Sarah Turnervia SIEPR Policy Brief
Monday, December 1, 2014

Only a minority of high-achieving, low-income students apply to colleges in the same way that other high-achieving students do: applying to several selective colleges whose curriculum is designed for students with a level of achievement like their own.

The Missing "One-Offs": The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students

by Caroline M. Hoxby, Christopher Averyvia Brookings Papers on Economic Activity
Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We show that the vast majority of low-income high achievers do not apply to any selective college.  This is despite the fact that selective institutions typically cost them less, owing to generous financial aid, than the two-year and nonselective four-year institutions to which they actually apply.

teacher and student
Analysis and Commentary

Rewarding and Employing Teachers Based on Their Value-Added

by Caroline M. Hoxbyvia Education Next
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Paying teachers in a manner that is competitive with private sector rewards

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Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Global Achievement Gap

by Caroline M. Hoxbyvia Defining Ideas
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

American students are falling behind in the international economy. Here’s how they can catch up.

Informing Students about Their College Options: A Proposal for Broadening the Expanding College Opportunities Project

by Caroline M. Hoxby, Sarah Turnervia The Hamilton Project
Saturday, June 1, 2013

Most high-achieving, low-income students do not even apply to selective colleges despite being highly qualified for admission and success at these institutions. Because they do not apply, these students forgo the generous academic resources, increased financial aid, and better collegiate and career opportunities that selective schools offer.

Young Adults

Hoover fellow Hoxby discusses her toolkit for low-income, high-achieving high school students on NPR’s All Things Considered

by Caroline M. Hoxbyvia All Things Considered (NPR)
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Caroline Hoxby, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford University, and a member of the Institution’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, discusses her study on expanding college opportunities for low-income students and how providing them with more information about top universities can improve application and acceptance rates.

A Revealed Preference Ranking of American Colleges and Universities

by Christopher Avery, Mark Glickman, Caroline M. Hoxby, Andrew Metrickvia Quarterly Journal of Economics
Thursday, December 13, 2012

We present a method of ranking U.S. undergraduate programs based on students’ revealed preferences. When a student chooses a college among those that have admitted him, that college “wins” his “tournament.” Our method efficiently integrates the information from thousands of such tournaments.