Eric Hanushek

Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow in Education
Research Team: 
Awards and Honors:
National Academy of Education

Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education at the Hoover Institution. A leader in the development of the economic analysis of educational issues, his research spans the impact on achievement of teacher quality, high-stakes accountability, and class-size reduction. He pioneered measuring teacher quality on the basis of student achievement, the foundation for current research into the value-added evaluations of teachers and schools. His work on school efficiency is central to debates about school finance adequacy and equity; his analyses of the economic impact of school outcomes motivate both national and international educational policy design.

Hanushek is also chairman of the Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and area coordinator for Economics of Education with the CESifo Research Network. He formerly served as chair of the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences.

His latest book, The Knowledge Capital of Nations: Education and the Economics of Growth, identifies the close link between the skills of the people and the economic growth of the nation and shows the economic impact of high quality schools. This analysis is the basis for estimating the economic benefits of a world development standard based on achieving basic skills (Universal Basic Skills: What Countries Stand to Gain). His prior book, Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School, considers the performance of U.S. schools from an international perspective and identifies the costs of not improving student outcomes. Earlier books include Schoolhouses, Courthouses, and Statehouses, 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, along with numerous widely cited articles in professional journals.

Hanushek previously held academic appointments at the University of Rochester, Yale University, and the US Air Force Academy and served in government as deputy director of Congressional Budget Office. He is a member of the National Academy of Education and the International Academy of Education along with being a fellow of the Society of Labor Economists and the American Education Research Association. He was awarded the Fordham Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in 2004.

A distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, he completed his PhD in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served in the US Air Force from 1965 to 1974.

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Recent Commentary


Achieving Universal Basic Skills

by Eric Hanushekvia Real Clear Education
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Broad economic development is in the interest of all nations.


Teach The World

by Eric Hanushek, Ludger Woessmannvia Foreign Affairs
Friday, August 21, 2015

Why the UN Sustainable Development Goals Should Focus on Education.

Analysis and Commentary

Not In The Right Ballpark

by Eric Hanushekvia EducationNext
Monday, July 20, 2015

This blog entry is part of a debate over “Boosting Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings,” by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson and Claudia Persico, a study which was published in the Fall 2015 issue of Education Next.

Analysis and Commentary

Money Matters After All?

by Eric Hanushekvia EducationNext
Friday, July 17, 2015

This blog entry is a response to “Boosting Educational Attainment and Adult Earnings,” by C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson and Claudia Persico, which was published in the Fall 2015 issue of Education Next.

Analysis and Commentary

Universal Basic Skills And Sustainable Development Goals

by Eric Hanushek, Ludger Woessmannvia EducationNext
Monday, June 1, 2015

Ministers and education officials from a wide range of countries and international agencies converged on Incheon in the Republic of Korea last month to discuss a new set of development goals at the World Education Forum. A draft document lays out a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that included education goals to be accomplished by 2015.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Universal Basic Skills Should Be The Primary Development Goal

by Eric Hanushek, Ludger Woessmannvia The World Economic Forum
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Later this year, the UN will set the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals will follow on from the previous Millennium Development Goals. The plethora of targets that is likely to emerge will make it hard to use them either as policy levers for change or as a means of charting progress. Instead, because knowledge capital is of utmost importance for inclusive world development, the primary post-2015 development goal should be that all youth achieve at least basic skills. The boost to future prosperity would be immense.

Analysis and Commentary

Calculating The Value Of Good Teachers To The Economy

by Eric Hanushekvia KCUR
Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hoover fellow Eric Hanushek discusses the economic value of quality teaching as well as steps to achieve that goal.

Analysis and Commentary

Not Enough Value To Justify More Of The Same

by Eric Hanushekvia The New York Times
Thursday, March 26, 2015

It is hard getting around the historic facts. Real per pupil spending has more than doubled in the past 40 years, but the mathematics and reading scores of 17-year-olds have barely budged.

Analysis and Commentary

An Evaluation System Linked To Retention And Reward Is Vital

by Eric Hanushekvia Room for Debate (New York Times)
Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Despite decades of study and enormous effort, we know little about how to train or select high quality teachers. We do know, however, that there are huge differences in the effectiveness of classroom teachers and that these differences can be observed.

Analysis and Commentary

Teachers Union In New York City Pushes Property Tax Change To Boost Teacher Hiring

by Eric Hanushekvia Education Next
Monday, January 5, 2015

It’s like the bad penny that keeps re-appearing, only it costs hundreds of millions of dollars. The constant reversion to calls for ever-smaller class sizes never seems to lose its appeal for the teacher unions or for school districts arguing for more funds.