We've launched a new site so please go to People & Research for current information on our faculty and staff.

Helen F. Ladd, Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics  

Office Location: 214A Sanford Building
Office Phone: (919) 613-7352
Duke Box: 90245
Email Address: hladd@duke.edu

Areas of Expertise

  • Education
    • Accountability
    • Achievement
    • Education Finance
    • School Choice/Vouchers
    • Teacher Labor Markets
  • Policy
  • Public Finance, Education Finance

Ph.D., Harvard University, 1974
MSc with distinction, London School of Economics, 1968
B.A., Wellesley College, 1967

Research Categories: Education Policy and State & Local Public Finance

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. H.F. Ladd, Charles T. Clotfelter, Jacob Vigdor. "Teacher Credentials and Student Achievement in High School: A Cross Subject Analysis with Fixed Effects." Journal of Human Resources (2010). (45 (3), 655-681) [655.full.pdf+html]

Curriculum Vitae

Helen F. Ladd is the Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy and professor of economics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. Most of her current research focuses on education policy. She is particularly interested in various aspects school accountability, education finance, teacher labor markets, and school choice. She has written numerous articles on charter schools and other forms of choice in North Carolina, self-governing schools and parental choice in New Zealand, market based reforms in urban school districts, voucher programs, school reform in post-Apartheid South Africa, and school finance in the Netherlands. In addition, with colleagues at Duke University she has written extensively about school segregation, teacher labor markets, and teacher quality using longitudinal data in North Carolina. She is the editor of Holding Schools Accountable: Performance-Based Reform in Education (Brookings Institution, 1996), co-editor (with Edward Fiske) of The Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy (2008) and the co-author of books on school reform in New Zealand and South Africa. From 1996-99 she co-chaired a National Academy of Sciences Committee on Education Finance. In that capacity she is the co-editor of two books: a set of background papers, Equity and Adequacy in Education Finance and the final report, Making Money Matter: Financing America’s Schools. Prior to 1986, she taught at Dartmouth College, Wellesley College, and at Harvard University, first in the City and Regional Planning Program and then in the Kennedy School of Government. She graduated with a B.A. degree from Wellesley College in 1967, received a master's degree from the London School of Economics in 1968, and earned her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1974. She was president of the Association for Public Policy and Management in 2011 and since its founding in 2008 has been co-chair of the national campaign for a Broader, Bolder Approach to Education (Boldapproach.org). Before she shifted to education policy, her research focused on state and local public finance, and she was active in the National Tax Association, which she served as president in 1993-94. She has also been a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a senior research fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. With the support of two Fulbright grants, she spent the spring term of 1998 in New Zealand studying that country’s education system and the spring term of 2002 doing similar research in South Africa. Most recently, she spent 6 months as a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam examining the Netherlands’ long experience with parental choice, significant autonomy for individual schools, and weighted student funding.

Helen F. Ladd