Professor Eric A. Hanushek

Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution of Stanford University


Economics of education, Education policy

Focus by region

North America

Fortifying the bridge between economic analysis of educational progress

“Whether countries improve economically depends on having strong economic growth, and strong economic growth depends on having a well-educated workforce and society. Thus, quality schooling is the key to unlocking the potential of nations and ultimately to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

The Yidan Council of Luminaries, with its mixture of strong researchers and accomplished practitioners, can help develop a commitment to better schooling and to improved well-being around the world. The majority of people in countries across the world – including both developed and developing countries – support high quality schools. But they often do not know how to make their schools better, and they often are unwilling to make the hard decisions required to change the existing schools. The Yidan Council of Luminaries can be a catalyst, using its collective knowledge, experiences ,and prestige to promote constructive improvements in schools around the World.”

— Professor Eric A. Hanushek


Professor Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is a recognized leader in the economic analysis of education issues, and his research has had broad influence on education policy in both developed and developing countries.

Professor Hanushek is the author of numerous widely-cited studies on the effects of class size reduction, school accountability, teacher effectiveness, and other topics. He was the first to research teacher effectiveness by measuring students’ learning gains. This approach formed the conceptual basis for using value-added measures to evaluate teachers and schools, now a widely adopted practice in many countries.

His recent book The Knowledge Capital of Nations: Education and the Economics of Growth summarizes his research, establishing the close links between countries’ long-term rates of economic growth and the skill levels of their populations.

His on-going research focuses on international variations in student performance and considers what differences in schooling systems lead to country-differences in the skills of people.

Professor Hanushek has authored or edited twenty-four books along with over 250 articles. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and completed his Ph.D. in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Accentuating the importance of education for economic growth

Professor Hanushek’s work focuses on what learners get out of education – rather than what we put into it – and it’s transforming research and policy.

By tracking education rates to national economic growth, he’s proved that more schooling isn’t always the answer. Thanks to Professor Hanushek, we know that economic growth is more linked to the quality of education children get, rather than the number of years they stay in school. And as for spending, it’s not how much we spend on education, but how we spend it, that matters most.

Two lines of enquiry now form Professor Hanushek’s research.

First, he’s comparing how different countries structure and manage education – the goal is to give policymakers useful evidence to shape their decisions. To drive this, he’s launched the International Comparative Education Policy Laboratory at the University of Munich, and the Hoover Educational Success Initiative at Stanford University, too.

Second, he’s investigating the links between training and impact of artificial intelligence on jobs. As part of this, he’s joined Stanford’s new Human-Centered AI Initiative.

These areas of research could change the way we understand education and sharing information – putting a new focus on sharing information and preparing people for the future of work.