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Research Programmes:

Education and Skills

Programme Overview

The Education and Skills Programme undertakes systematic and innovative research in the field of the economics of education by applying the latest techniques of empirical analysis. We look at a broad range of questions including why people invest in education and training, the way education systems are organised and, the impact of education and skill acquisition on economic and social outcomes. Our programme covers education at all stages of peoples' lives.

The research is heavily orientated towards doing empirical work which can inform policy by taking questions to the data. We apply and develop a range of methodological approaches for this purpose, from evaluation methods, statistical analysis of large-scale micro-data sources, through to more detailed case study work.

We have made a substantial contribution across many areas. These include: returns to education; the link between family background and educational attainment; the effects of school choice and competition; the 'value' of primary education as reflected in the housing market; the labour market for teachers; intergenerational mobility and educational inequality; evaluation of many government policies.

Research papers can be downloaded from the CEP Discussion Paper series. The earlier papers date from our involvement in the Centre for the Economics of Education (2000-2010), which was funded by the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and involved partners at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Institute of Education. The Education and Skills Programme is also engaged in the work programme of the Centre for Vocational Education Research. This is a DfE-funded research consortium: http://cver.lse.ac.uk/

The Education and Skills Programme concentrates on three main areas of research:

  • Schools: We conduct extensive research considering what policies and other factors are important for raising educational attainment in schools, including a number of Randomised Control Trials.

  • Post Compulsory Education and Skills: We examine trends in further and technical education, higher education, racial and gender gaps, the links with inequality and financing issues. Researchers at the CEP have organised a network for practitioners in the economics of higher education.

  • Education policy: The CEP also produces overviews of areas of general interest to public debate and policy.