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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary

In the News

With Bloomberg’s Backing, Top Colleges Seek More Low-Income Students

with Caroline M. Hoxbyvia The Washington Post
Thursday, February 7, 2019
Leaders of more than 100 selective colleges and universities met here this week at the offices of billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg to strategize on how to recruit and graduate more students from the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.

The Right Way To Capture College “Opportunity”

by Caroline M. Hoxby, Sarah Turnervia Education Next
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Higher education may be one of the most important channels through which people can attain improved life outcomes based on their merit rather than family background. If qualified students from lower-income families are underrepresented in higher education, there is potentially a failure not just in equity but in economic efficiency as well.


EdNext Podcast: Identifying The Colleges That Successfully Recruit Low-Income Students With Caroline Hoxby

interview with Caroline M. Hoxbyvia EdNext Podcast
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

 Hoover Institution fellow Caroline Hoxby discusses her latest research piece, “The Right Way to Capture College “Opportunity.”

Stanford Oval
In the News

Colleges And Income Mobility: Undermatched, Overmatched And More

quoting Caroline M. Hoxbyvia Forbes
Monday, February 4, 2019

A potential academic contretemps between some giants in the economics profession has emerged relating to the issue of the role that colleges play in promoting intergenerational income mobility --the ability of lower-income Americans to use education as a means of achieving prosperity and sharing in the American Dream. One remarkable thing about this dispute is that it is led largely by women and nonwhite males, not the white males who dominate most of modern economics.

Papers And Presentations

Labor Market Adjustment

by Caroline M. Hoxbyvia Revisiting the 2008 Financial Crisis
Friday, December 7, 2018

Today, there is suggestive evidence that policies during the recession failed to promote labor market adjustment, leading to permanently lower worker hours.

Analysis and Commentary

The Dramatic Economics Of The U.S. Market For Higher Education

by Caroline M. Hoxbyvia National Bureau of Economic Research
Friday, November 11, 2016

We have in the United States what is arguably the world’s only true market for higher education, as opposed to systems that are largely centrally controlled or financed.


The Immensity Of The Coleman Data Project

by Caroline M. Hoxbyvia Education Next
Friday, February 26, 2016

When I reflect on James Coleman and the “Equality of Educational Opportunity”study (EEOS), I am immediately inclined to quote Ecclesiasticus 44:1: “Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.” Coleman is the father of much social scientific analysis of education.

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.