LSE LSE Research Laboratory LSE
LSE Research Laboratory (RLAB)

The Centre for the Economics of Education

About Us

The Centre for the Economics of Education was established in March 2000 and received core funding (until 2010) from Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills . The research network built up over the last decade continues to be sustained. The CEE is a multidisciplinary centre with three partners: The Centre for Economic Performance at LSE; the Institute for Fiscal Studies; and the Institute of Education. All three partners have a proven and distinguished track record in the economics of education and training, and a great breadth of knowledge on policy relevant issues relating to education, training and the labour market.

The CEE seeks to undertake systematic and innovative research in the field of the economics of education by applying the latest techniques of empirical analysis. We look at a broad range of questions including why people invest in education and training, the way education systems are organized, and the impact of education and skill acquisition on economic and social outcomes. Our programme covers education at all stages of people’s lives.

The research is heavily orientated towards doing empirical work which can inform policy by taking questions to the data. We apply (and develop) a range of methodological approaches for this purpose, from evaluation methods, statistical analysis of large-scale micro-data sources, through to more detailed case study work.

We have made a substantial contribution across many areas. These include: returns to education; adult learning; the link between family background and educational attainment; the effects of school choice and competition; the ‘value’ of primary education as reflected in the housing market; the labour market for teachers; intergenerational mobility and educational inequality; evaluation of many government policies. Research papers can be downloaded from the CEE Discussion Paper series. A good overview of much of our work will be found in our book “What’s the Good of Education” (available to buy from

Recent work in the Education Programme includes evaluation of the Academies Programme (CEE Discussion Paper #123), an evaluation of the effects of school resources – especially relevant to the Pupil Premium policy (CEE Discussion Paper #128) and the UK Resiliency Programme. In addition to projects undertaken as part of the CEE agenda, researchers in CEP are involved in many other research projects related to education and skills.

The CEE is headed by Professor Stephen Machin, an expert in the economics of education and currently Professor of Economics at University College London. He is the Research Director at the Centre for Economic Performance and is affiliated with the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Sandra McNally is the Director of the Education and Skills programme at CEP.

Details of recent projects are available on the CEE research projects pages.