Economic Analysis of Education

Professors: McEachin and Opper
Units: 1.0
Elective Course
Concentrations: Economic Analysis, Quantitative Methods, Policy Analysis

Why do we hold teachers and schools accountable for their students' achievement? How do the designs of the accountability systems impact educators' behavioral responses? How can we create reliable and valid measures of teacher effectiveness? Are the recent school choice initiatives going to improve students' educational outcomes? These are some of the important questions that are hotly debated in the popular media as well as academic circles. Answers to these questions are especially important given that the current educational landscape is marked by decreasing resources and increasingly high-stakes, essentially expecting educators to produce more with less. The field of economics studies how individuals make choices in the presence of scarce resources which means, it directly relates to the present economic reality faced by most educators, administrators, and policymakers. In this course, we will explore how basic economic theories and principles shed light on many questions about education currently being debated.