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Last updated:

October 19, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This class discusses the economic aspects of current issues in education, using both economic theory and econometric and institutional readings.

Topics include discussion of basic human capital theory, the growing impact of education on earnings and earnings inequality, statistical issues in determining the true rate of return to education, the labor market for teachers, implications of the impact of computers on the demand for worker skills, the effectiveness of mid-career training for adult workers, the roles of school choice, charter schools, state standards and educational technology in improving K-12 education, and the issue of college financial aid.

Course Curriculum

  • Early childhood education: How important? Unlimited
  • When did earnings become so dependent on education? Unlimited
  • Do our regression estimates overestimate the impact of education on earnings? The case of ability bias. Unlimited
  • If the return to education is real, does it reflect skills learned or is it a signal? Unlimited
  • Why has the rate of return to education increased? Unlimited
  • What skills are now rewarded in the workplace? Unlimited
  • Midterm Unlimited
  • Do smaller classes raise achievement? Unlimited
  • School vouchers and parental choice Unlimited
  • School accountability, standards and testing Unlimited
  • Teacher quality and teacher training Unlimited
  • Can technology complement what teachers do? Unlimited
  • Higher education: Basic issues and structure Unlimited
  • Higher education policy Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology