What Makes a Politician Tackle Education?

Josef Ritzen, the Netherlands’ education minister for eight years before he joined the World Bank, once told me: “The view of a prime minister is that an education minister only brings problems. There’s nothing he or she can do to improve quality that has a political upside. So, most ministers try to do nothing.” Ritzen’s recent successors have learned this lesson the hard way with public outcry over heightened math admission requirements for teacher training colleges that have led to a teacher shortage and larger classes.

Four Key Insights About the Political Economy of Learning

Lant Pritchett has a knack for making novel arguments and making them seem so obvious that one wonders how no one has made them before. His recent RISE working paper, The Politics of Learning: Directions for Future Research, is no exception. It’s chock-full of key insights for anyone who seeks to explain why developing country governments pursue their educational policies.

A Conference Year in Review: A Personal Highlight Reel on Education Systems Research

This year I attended three conferences/workshops that had at least one session on education and education systems. As the year draws to a close, I spent some time reflecting on the common themes and the road ahead, and in particular how it fits with my research. In this blog, I will briefly describe the (personal) highlights from each event: a workshop by The Centre for Teaching and Research in Economics’ (CIDE), the RISE Annual Conference at the Centre for Global Development (CGD), and the Empirical Management Conference at the World Bank.