Educational policy is increasingly based on ideas, theories, and empirical research from economics. Accountability, school choice, charter schools, vouchers, privatization, merit pay for teachers, and school funding are just a few noteworthy examples. This course will explore how economists think about education in general as well as these specific policies and the underlying economic theories. We will address the following questions: * What concepts, theories, perspectives, methods, and insights do economists bring to education policy debates, in both K-12 and higher education? * How is economic thinking used to support and/or oppose specific educational policies? To what extent and in what ways does school choice increase competition among schools? Is there a teacher shortage? If so, how might it be eliminated? How can schools attract high quality teachers? Do too many, or too few, students go on to college? * What are the most important research studies conducted by economists of education? What have these contributed to our understanding of education? The readings are mostly drawn from the extensive literature on the U.S. education system, but many issues are universally relevant, and students are encouraged to make connections to their own experience and the Vietnamese education system.

offering time

Spring 23




Lan Nguyen


Course code


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