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

Teachers picket in La Habra last December
Featured CommentaryEurekaFeatured

Teacher Strikes Are Not Going To Help California’s Students

by Eric Hanushekvia Eureka
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

When teachers in Los Angeles and Oakland went on strike earlier this year, they got a considerable amount of public support. This support is not too surprising, because there is widespread belief that teachers are underpaid. Now that the strikes have been settled, how should we view these actions?


Teacher Pay And Student Performance

by Eric Hanushekvia PolicyEd
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Teaching is an underpaid profession. As a result, the quality of teachers is below what it would be if compensation were similar to industries of comparably skilled workers.

In the News

Parent Engagement In Public Schools

quoting Eric Hanushekvia Overton County News
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Public policy must enable parents and community leaders to serve their schools, districts, and community more efficiently and effectively. Parents are the most important teachers of values to their children. Children benefit when they see their parents engaged in their education.


Eric Hanushek: School Demographics, Teacher Salaries, And The Economics Of Education

interview with Eric Hanushekvia The Federalist
Monday, July 22, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Eric Hanushek discusses a number of topics including: common misconceptions for improving US schools, the culture war within public schools, the impact of a child’s family life on education, and the correlation between a teacher’s pay and the quality of education.


Budget 2019 Needs To Have A Holistic View On Where Education In India Needs To Go

by Chirantan Chatterjee, Eric Hanushekvia The Indian Express
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

With the new Indian government shortly coming up with its first full federal budget and with education sector outlays being actively discussed, it is time to take a broader, holistic view of where Indian education needs to go. Rabindranath Tagore, who was the first non-European and Indian to win the Nobel Prize in literature in 1913, once noted, “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time”. 


Eric Hanushek On Income Inequality And Educational Achievement

interview with Eric Hanushekvia C-SPAN
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Eric Hanushek discusses the results of his recent study on income inequality and its impact on educational achievement.

In the News

Inside The Reardon-Hanushek Clash Over 50 Years Of Achievement Gaps

featuring Eric Hanushekvia The Hechinger Report
Monday, May 27, 2019

Measuring achievement gaps between rich and poor might seem like a straightforward exercise for education experts. Simply look up the test scores for rich kids and subtract the tests scores for poor kids. But despite this apparent simplicity, two prominent education researchers have arrived at different answers. Sean Reardon says that achievement gaps have grown a whopping 40 percent in the last 50 years. Eric Hanushek says they haven’t budged.

Policy InsightsFeatured


featuring Eric Hanushek, Margaret (Macke) Raymond, Russell Roberts, Paul E. Peterson, Chester E. Finn Jr., Tom Churchvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Education policy is complicated in the United States because of our federalist system. The federal government’s role in education is more advisory than operational. It provides a lot of guidance on the standards and goals for students, but allows states and local governments the flexibility to achieve them with varying methods. The federal government is in a position to know what we need in order to be competitive internationally. It can also be valuable in compensating students who need extra help. 

In the News

The Socioeconomic Achievement Gap Hasn’t Budged In Half A Century. Now What?

featuring Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Petersonvia AEI
Monday, April 22, 2019

For over half a century, Americans have relied on public schooling as the nation’s core strategy for promoting social and economic mobility across generations, giving every child a fair start regardless of family income and zip code. But a groundbreaking new study has found that despite enormous public investment — now at over $700 billion annually — achievement gaps between wealthier and poorer children have remained unchanged over the past 50 years.

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.