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

In the News

All That US Help To Poor Kids In School Makes No Difference At All

quoting Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia Continental Telegraph
Sunday, April 14, 2019

At least, no great difference in the gap between poor kids and richer kids in achievements at school. Which is something of a pity because the US does spend a fortune on these things.

In the News

Haven’t We Learned Our School Spending Lesson?

mentioning Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia Patriot Post
Thursday, April 11, 2019

Here’s a perspective check for you: When I first came to Washington, D.C., more than 50 years ago, the big question when it came to schools was “Should the federal government have any role in financing education?”

In the News

Achievement Gap Between Rich And Poor Is Unchanged After 50 Years, Study Says

quoting Eric Hanushekvia EdWeek
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

She spoke while on a panel organized by the Hoover Institution on the study. ... the study's co-author and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

In the News

Achievement Gap Between Rich And Poor Public School Students Unchanged Over 50 Years

quoting Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia Reason
Monday, April 8, 2019

Half a century of trying hasn't closed one of schooling's most vexing achievement gaps. According to a new paper, the gap in educational achievement between public school students in the bottom 10th socioeconomic status (SES) percentile and those in the top 90th SES percentile has remained essentially unchanged over the last 50 years.

In the News

Testing Policies Are The 'Jim Crow Of Education,' Association President Suggests

mentioning Eric Hanushekvia Education Dive
Monday, April 8, 2019

Dramatizing the range of emotions students feel toward standardized testing, members of the Epic Theater Ensemble, based in New York City, opened the presidential address at this year’s American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference with a strong statement against the role of testing in education.

In the News

Can We Fix The Schools? (Maybe Not.)

quoting Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia The Washington Post
Sunday, April 7, 2019

You can count on one familiar refrain in the 2020 presidential campaign: Fix the schools. Faith in education is one of the nation’s bedrock values. Better schools would (we think) narrow economic inequalities and help people reach their personal potential. Promises to revitalize schools are inevitable.

In the News

Only Republicans Can Reform Our Failed Public Education System

quoting Eric Hanushekvia Daily Breeze
Thursday, April 4, 2019

A new study reveals something we all know and many would prefer to forget: Public education has been failing, and will continue to fail, a majority of our students – despite massive infusion of money.

In the News

Lindsey Burke, Mary Clare Amselem: Trump’s Education Budget Cuts Justified

mentioning Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia Fox News
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Since 1965, federal taxpayers have poured an estimated $2 trillion into education programs associated with President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

No Change in Student Achievement Gap in Last 50 Years

interview with Eric Hanushekvia Hoover Institution
Monday, April 1, 2019

After more than fifty years of educational policies aimed at closing student achievement gaps, a large divide continues to exist between those at the top and lower rungs of the socioeconomic ladder, according to new research by Hoover scholars.

In the News

You Can't Throw Money At War On Poverty

quoting Eric Hanushekvia Creators Syndicate
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A damning new study dispels the myth that more money is the cure for education's failures. The report took a comprehensive look at 50 years of testing data and found that even after spending hundreds of billions of dollars, the opportunity gap among students remains as wide as ever.