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About us

The Centre for Education Economics (CfEE) is an independent think tank working to improve policy and practice in education through impartial economic research.

Founded in 2012, the Centre exists to research and disseminate evidence addressed to how to improve the quality and efficiency of education services; achieve optimal outcomes for young people; and maximise the benefits of education to society as a whole.
 
CfEE researchers monitor global research output in the economics of education, producing monthly and annual research digests to disseminate this literature. The Centre publishes in-depth policy studies, which frame and inform shorter reports and comment pieces on day-to-day education policy matters. 
 
Working with research and event partners and sponsors across Westminster and central London, CfEE stages a variety of events to engage the public in the policy debate and inform its research.
 
We hope you'll visit us at one of these and participate in the exchange.
 
Why education economics?
 
Education is crucially important for many of the policy outcomes that citizens and politicians care about. At an individual level, your education affects your earnings, your employability, and your chance of succeeding in life. It also affects your health, future family structure, intellectual fulfilment and many other aspects of what we consider to be a good life. At a national level, a country’s stock of skills matters hugely for its prosperity and growth rate. The distribution of skills is a big determinant of inequality, and the relationship of a person’s skills to their background is central to determining the degree of social or intergenerational mobility.
 
Unsurprisingly then, there has been a lot of research on education. Unfortunately, as we’ve been made increasingly aware in recent years, an awful lot of that research is of very poor quality, which over the years has created not a little confusion about what works and what doesn’t in education.
 
While many disciplines contribute to our understanding of education, economic analysis can offer key insights for policy-makers. It has a strongly quantitative approach, and a clear framework for understanding the decisions and actions of all the relevant actors. Most importantly, it brings a relentless focus on trying to establish causal links between policy variables and outcomes. While descriptive studies can be invaluable for improving our understanding, policy decisions can only be securely made on the basis of causal relationships. At the Centre for Education Economics (CfEE), we labour this point, as indeed we do in relation to analysis of methodology and research design generally.
 
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