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Charles T. Clotfelter, Z. Smith Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Public Policy Studies

Charles T. Clotfelter

Charles Clotfelter is Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Economics and Law at Duke University, where he has taught since 1979.  He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His major research interests are in the economics of education, the nonprofit sector, and public finance.

He is the author of Unequal Colleges in the Age of Disparity (Harvard University Press, 2017), Big-Time Sports in American Universities (Cambridge University Press, 2011), After Brown: The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation(Princeton University Press, 2004), Buying the Best: Cost Escalation in Elite Higher Education (Princeton University Press, 1996), and Federal Tax Policy and Charitable Giving (University of Chicago Press, 1985). He is also coauthor (with Philip Cook) of Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America (Princeton University Press, 1989) and has coauthored or edited five other books pertaining to higher education and the nonprofit sector. He was co-winner of the Gladys M. Kammerer prize, awarded by the American Political Science Association for the best political science publication in the field of U.S. national policy in 2004, forAfter Brown: The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation. In 2011, he was selected to give the Spencer Foundation Award Lecture at the meetings of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. In 2015 he was elected to the National Academy of Education.

Clotfelter received a B.A. from Duke University in 1969, where he majored in history, summa cum laude, and he received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1974. Before coming to Duke, he taught at the University of Maryland, spending his last year there on leave at the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Tax Analysis. While at Duke, he has served as vice provost for academic policy and planning, vice chancellor, vice provost for academic programs, and associate dean of academic programs at the Sanford School of Public Policy. He has also served as president of the Southern Economic Association. During the 2005/06 year he was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation. During the 2013/14 year he was a fellow at the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice, at the N.Y.U. School of Law.

He was born in Birmingham, Ala., and grew up in Atlanta, Ga.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  236 Sanford Building, Box 90245, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 613-7361
Email Address: send me a message
Web Pages:


Ph.D. Harvard University1974
M.A.Harvard University1972
B.A., summa cum laudeDuke University1969

Public Policy
Research Interests: Economics of Education, Social Policy, and Public Finance

Areas of Interest:

Economics of education
Higher education
Big-time college sports
School desegregation
Economics of nonprofit organizations and philanthropy
State lotteries


Achievement • Adolescent • Charities • Child • Community colleges • educational accountability • Educational Accountability • Educational Measurement • Educational Status • Emigration and Immigration • Gambling • Hispanic Americans • Lotteries • Mathematics • North Carolina • Organizations, Nonprofit • Probability • Reading • Taxes • United States

Current Ph.D. Students  

  • Danielle L Vance-McMullen  
  • Katherine Duch  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Clotfelter, CT, Big-Time sports in American Universities (January, 2011), pp. 1-313, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9781107004344 [website], [doi]  [abs]
  2. Charles T. Clotfelter, (ed.), American Universities in a Global Market (2010), Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  3. Charle T. Clotfelter, Helen F. Ladd and Jacob L. Vigdor, Teacher Credentials and Student Achievement in High School: A Cross Subject Analysis with Fixed Effects, Journal of Human Resources, vol. 45 (Summer 2010), pp. 655-681
  4. Charles T. Clotfelter, After Brown: The Rise and Retreat of School Desegregation (2004, 2006, paperback), Princeton: Princeton University Press [Ordering_Info]  [abs]

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