Ludger Woessmann

Ludger Woessmann is Professor of Economics at the University of Munich and Director of the Ifo Center for the Economics of Education and Innovation. Hanushek and Woessmann are coauthors (with Paul E. Peterson) of Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School.

  • The Knowledge Capital of Nations

    The Knowledge Capital of Nations

    Education and the Economics of Growth

    Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann

    A rigorous, pathbreaking analysis demonstrating that a country's prosperity is directly related in the long run to the skills of its population.

    In this book Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann make a simple, central claim, developed with rigorous theoretical and empirical support: knowledge is the key to a country's development. Of course, every country acknowledges the importance of developing human capital, but Hanushek and Woessmann argue that message has become distorted, with politicians and researchers concentrating not on valued skills but on proxies for them. The common focus is on school attainment, although time in school provides a very misleading picture of how skills enter into development. Hanushek and Woessmann contend that the cognitive skills of the population—which they term the “knowledge capital” of a nation—are essential to long-run prosperity.

    Hanushek and Woessmann subject their hypotheses about the relationship between cognitive skills (as consistently measured by international student assessments) and economic growth to a series of tests, including alternate specifications, different subsets of countries, and econometric analysis of causal interpretations. They find that their main results are remarkably robust, and equally applicable to developing and developed countries. They demonstrate, for example, that the “Latin American growth puzzle” and the “East Asian miracle” can be explained by these regions' knowledge capital. Turning to the policy implications of their argument, they call for an education system that develops effective accountability, promotes choice and competition, and provides direct rewards for good performance.

    • Hardcover $35.00 £28.00
  • Industrial Policy for National Champions

    Industrial Policy for National Champions

    Oliver Falck, Christian Gollier, and Ludger Woessmann

    Prominent economists present the pros and cons of government's subsidizing or protecting firms that are “national champions.”

    Governments around the world are deeply divided about the proper role of industrial policy, with some politicians arguing for hands-off governance and others supporting government intervention to promote “national champions”—firms that receive government support for both political and economic reasons. In this volume, prominent economists present the pros and cons of government support for national champions. The contributors use the rigor of economic models in their studies, offering a quantitative perspective that complements and extends existing qualitative studies, and focus on issues emerging from the European Union's substantial degree of market integration.

    Many arguments in favor of champions-promoting policies are made in a dynamic context, so the book first presents chapters that take a dynamic economy view, then presents chapters that examine the political economy of the decision process, and finally, offers “classical” static equilibrium arguments. The richness of the different models provides a deeper understanding of industrial policy than could any model alone. What becomes clear from these different perspectives nevertheless is that it is difficult to make a general case in favor of policies promoting national champions on purely economic grounds and that these policies are best understood in political terms.

    • Hardcover $19.75 £15.99
  • Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem

    Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem

    Ludger Woessmann and Paul E. Peterson

    Leading researchers from the United States and Europe report on new findings on the effect of education on equal opportunity, using economic and statistical techniques to assess the results of education policy reform in countries including the United States, Britain, Sweden, Germany, and Italy.

    Much educational research today is focused on assessing reforms that are intended to create equal opportunity for all students. Many current policies aim at concentrating extra resources on the disadvantaged. The state-of-the-art research in Schools and the Equal Opportunity Problem suggests, however, that even sizeable differential spending on the disadvantaged will not yield an equality of results. In this CESifo volume, leading scholars from the United States and Europe use the tools of economics to assess the outcome of efforts to solve education's equal opportunity problem in a range of countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Italy. The evidence shows some routes for advancement—testing with high performance standards, for example, and well-designed school choice—but also raises considerable doubts about whether many current school policies are effective in dramatically altering the opportunity structure. The evidence presented also calls into question the idea that causal peer effects are very strong. The contributors examine such topics as the link between education and parental income, the problematic past research on peer effects, tracking, the distribution of educational outcomes, human capital policy aimed at disadvantaged students, and private/public school choice. The research suggests that achieving universal primary and secondary education is both urgently needed and feasible. Will the international community commit the necessary economic, human, and political resources? The challenge, say the editors, is "as inspiring and formidable... as any extraterrestrial adventures—and far more likely to enrich and improve life on earth."

    • Hardcover $8.75 £6.99

Contributor

  • The Continuing Evolution of Europe

    The Continuing Evolution of Europe

    Thiess Buettner and Wolfgang Ochel

    Economists address key challenges facing the EU, including financial instability, welfare state reform, inadequate institutional framework, and global economic integration.

    The European Union began with efforts in the Cold War era to foster economic integration among a few Western European countries. Today's EU constitutes an upper tier of government that affects almost every level of policymaking in each of its twenty-seven member states. The recent financial and economic crises have tested this still-evolving institutional framework, and this book surveys key economic challenges faced by the EU.

    Prominent European economists examine such topics as the stability of the financial markets and possible policy options to reduce future vulnerability to crises, including Glass-Steagull-style narrow banking; the effect of emerging economies such as China and India on Europe's economic position; the protection of national interests in industrial policy; reforming and preserving the welfare state in the face of unemployment, population aging, and worker mobility within the EU; and improving the EU's institutional framework by reassigning responsibilities among supranational, national, and local governments.

    Among the conclusions that emerge from these analyses are the necessity for banking regulation as well as budgetary discipline; the need to consider global as well as European integration; and the idea that an environment that fosters internal competition will increase Europe's competitiveness internationally.

    • Hardcover $7.75 £5.99
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • School Choice International

    School Choice International

    Exploring Public-Private Partnerships

    Rajashri Chakrabarti and Paul E. Peterson

    Analyses and studies of public-private partnerships in education and the varied forms they take in different parts of the world.

    Public-private partnerships in education exist in various forms around the world, in both developed and developing countries. Despite this, and despite the importance of human capital for economic growth, systematic analysis has been limited and scattered, with most scholarly attention going to initiatives in the United States. This volume hlelps to fill the gap, bringing together recent studies on public-private partnerships in different parts of the world, including Asia, North and South America, and Europe. These initiatives vary significantly in form and structure, and School Choice International offers not only comprehensive overviews (including a cross-country analysis of student achievement) but also detailed studies of specific initiatives in particular countries. Two chapters compare public and private schools in India and the relative efficacy of these two sectors in providing education. Other chapters examine the use of publicly funded vouchers in Chile and Colombia, reporting promising results in Colombia but ambiguous findings in Chile; and student outcomes in publicly funded, privately managed schools (similar to American charter schools) in two countries: Colombia's “concession schools” and the United Kingdom's City Academies Programme. Taken together, these studies offer important insights for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers into the purposes, directions, and effects of different public-private educational initiatives.

    Contributors Felipe Barrera, Cristian Bellei, Eric P. Bettinger, Rajashri Chakrabarti, Geeta G. Kingdon, Michael Kremer, Norman LaRocque, Stephen Machin, Karthik Muralidhara, Thomas Nechyba, Harry A. Patrinos, Paul E. Peterson, Ludger Woessmann

    • Hardcover $8.75 £6.99