This course combines economic theory, econometric methodology and institutional literature to read, analyze and understand the current research literature in the economics of education and to apply it to current policy questions.
Topics include (but will not be limited to): The basic theory of investments in education (human capital theory); the empirical problem of disentangling the return to education from the return to innate ability; the role of education in national economic growth; the association between education and individual earnings and reasons why that relationship has changed over time; the role of early childhood education; the main approaches to K-12 school reform (money, choice, educational standards, and teacher selection/training); and the problem of increasing access to higher education. Along the way, we will discuss computers both in their effect on educational requirements and their potential role in teaching skills. We will also discuss the role of education in individual mobility and in national growth. Last, we will discuss emerging research on the effects of the pandemic on human capital development.