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


The Power Of Education: Boosting Economic Growth In The Long Run

by Eric Hanushekvia
Friday, September 8, 2017

Widespread proficiency in math and reading creates a strong foundation for more advanced knowledge and productive work. Unfortunately, U.S. proficiency in math and reading hasn’t kept up with the rest of the world. If American students become more proficient in math and reading, long-run economic growth will follow.

Office Hours: Eric Hanushek On Teacher Quality

by Eric Hanushekvia
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Eric Hanushek responds to your questions related to the quality of teachers in education.

Featured CommentaryFeatured

The Future Of Teacher Quality In California Is In Doubt--And That Also Puts California’s Economic Outlook In Jeopardy

by Eric Hanushekvia Eureka
Thursday, August 17, 2017

California’s economy–on a pace this year to potentially surpass the United Kingdom as the world’s fifth largest–will likely become more and more dependent on the quality of its home-produced labor force. In that regard storm clouds are on the horizon.


Apprenticeship Programs In A Changing Economic World

by Eric Hanushek, Ludger Woessmannvia EducationNext
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The nagging problem of significant numbers of youth leaving school unprepared for career employment has revitalized interest in vocational education, particularly apprenticeships. Support for vocational education comes from people across the political spectrum, from both labor and business groups, and from the popular media. The clearest manifestation in policy is President Trump’s executive order that calls for immediate expansion of existing apprenticeship programs while simultaneously disparaging the effectiveness of current education and training programs.


German-Style Apprenticeships Simply Can’t Be Replicated

by Eric Hanushekvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, June 18, 2017

Half of young Germans enter vocational training, and the rigid labor market relies on certification.


Investing In Good Teachers Pays Big Dividends

by Eric Hanushekvia
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Teaching is one of the few industries in America where the link between performance and pay is unrelated. A great teacher who happens to be young gets paid much less than a mediocre teacher who has been around for decades. If we want to see better results in our schools, we need more flexibility on how we hire, reward, and retain great teachers. 

Education Image

American Teachers Unions Oppose Innovative Schools—In Africa

by Eric Hanushekvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, March 9, 2017

Bridge Academies show promising results in Kenya and Uganda, but unions see them only as a threat.

Analysis and Commentary

Student Achievement And Every State's Economic Future

by Eric Hanushekvia Real Clear Education
Friday, April 29, 2016

The No Child Left Behind Act that drove much of the overall policy discussion became increasingly dysfunctional and was belatedly replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act. A key element of this new act is returning the locus of educational policy to individual states. That move is not without risk.


It Pays To Improve School Quality

by Eric Hanushek, Jens Ruhose, Ludger Woessmannvia Education Next
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

States that boost student achievement could reap large economic gains.