Caroline Hoxby

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Caroline Hoxby
Born1966 (age 53–54)
InstitutionStanford University
FieldLabor economics
Public economics
Alma materMassachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Oxford
Harvard University
James M. Poterba[1]
Jennifer Doleac
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

Caroline Minter Hoxby (born 1966) is an American economist whose research focuses on issues in education and public economics. She is currently the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor in Economics at Stanford University[2] and program director of the Economics of Education Program for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Hoxby is a John and Lydia Pearce Mitchell University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. She is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.


Hoxby is a native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, where she attended Shaker Heights High School. Her father, Steven Minter, worked in the U.S. Department of Education during the presidency of Jimmy Carter.[3] Hoxby graduated with summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard University in 1988, where she won a Hoopes Prize. She then attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. In 1994, she received her doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[4]

From 1994 to 2007, she was a faculty member of Harvard University, first as an assistant professor, then as Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Economics, and starting in 2001 as the Allie S. Freed Professor of Economics.[4] She was the university's only African-American economics professor with tenure.[5] In 2005, she was appointed to be one of the 24 Harvard College Professors.[6][7] In 2006, she won the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize.[8] She moved to Stanford University in 2007, where she is the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor of Economics.[4] She was named the John and Lydia Pearce Mitchell University Fellow in Undergraduate Education in 2014.[9]

She has been married to Blair Hoxby, also a Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar, since 1993. He is currently a faculty member in the English department at Stanford University and does scholarly work on John Milton and Renaissance theater.[5][10][11]


Hoxby's research focuses on higher education policy, with an emphasis on elite colleges and universities. Hoxby is a Principal Investigator of the Expanding College Opportunities project, a randomized controlled trial that had dramatic effects on low-income, high achievers' college-going. For work related to this project, she recently received The Smithsonian Institution's Ingenuity Award.[12] Her research in this area began with a demonstration that low-income high achievers usually fail to apply to any selective college.[13][14][15][16][17][18] This is despite the fact that they are extremely likely to be admitted and receive such generous financial aid that they usually pay much less to attend selective colleges than they do to attend non-selective schools. This issue is now being addressed systematically owing to the project's evidence that individualized but inexpensive informational interventions cause students to take fuller advantage of their opportunities.

In some of her other best known work on higher education, she explains the rising cost of college.[19] She analyzes how the market for higher education works and has developed since WWII. And she evaluates why some universities are much more productive than others. Recently, she has analyzed universities' endowment policies[20][21] and the economics of online higher education.[22][23] Her current research includes studies of colleges' value-added and how federal spending and tax policies affect college-going.

One of Hoxby's most-cited papers, "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?" (American Economic Review, 2000), argues that increased school choice improves educational outcomes for all students by improving school quality. Jesse Rothstein published a paper in which he stated that Hoxby's result depended on her hand-count of the main instrumental variable, and that he was unable to replicate her results with any of several alternative measures.[24] Hoxby later published a response in defense of her original work.[25] The debate received coverage in the mainstream press.[26][27]

Selected publications[edit]

Edited books[edit]

  • Caroline M. Hoxby (editor). 2003. The Economics of School Choice. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-35533-7.
  • Caroline M. Hoxby (editor). 2004. College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay for It. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-35535-1.
  • Jeffrey R. Brown and Caroline M. Hoxby (editors). 2015. How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-20183-2. ISBN 978-0-226-20197-9.
  • Caroline M. Hoxby (editor). 2008. Higher Aspirations: An Agenda for Reforming European Universities. Bruegel Blueprint Series. ISBN 978-90-78910-07-7.
  • Caroline M. Hoxby (author). 2006. The Three Essential Elements and Several Policy Options. Education Forum. ISBN 978-0-9582725-0-6.
  • Caroline M. Hoxby (multi-author). 2012. Choice and Federalism: Defining the Federal Role in Education. Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 978-0-8179-1484-4.

Awards and honors[edit]

Among the awards and honors that Hoxby has received are:


  1. ^ Markets and schooling : the effects of competition from private schools, competition among public schools, and teachers' unions on elementary and secondary schooling
  2. ^ "Caroline M. Hoxby". Stanford University Economics Department.
  3. ^ "Steven Minter". The History Makers. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Caroline M. Hoxby: Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Stanford University Department of Economics.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Marcella Bombardieri (June 11, 2007). "Dual careers worry academia; Scholarly couples are lured away". Boston Globe.
  6. ^ Harvard Gazette: Six honored as Harvard College Professors
  7. ^ Crimson Staff (2005). "Sweet Caroline: Harvard Must Do All It Can to Keep Hoxby" (March 2). Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  8. ^ Harvard College Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize
  9. ^ Sullivan, Kathleen J. (24 October 2014). "Stanford provost announces Bass University Fellows in Undergraduate Education". Stanford Report. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Weddings: Caroline M. Minter and Blair G. Hoxby". New York Times. May 30, 1993.
  11. ^ "Faculty Profile: Blair Hoxby, Associate Professor". Stanford University Department of English.
  12. ^ "2013 Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards". Smithsonian Magazine. November 15, 2013.
  13. ^ Leonhardt, David (March 16, 2013). "Better Colleges Failing to Lure Talented Poor". New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  14. ^ Leonhardt, David (March 21, 2013). "Changing the Culture of College Application". New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  15. ^ Plumer, Brad (March 22, 2013). "Smart low-income kids aren't applying to good colleges". Washington Post.
  16. ^ Jaschik, Scott (December 11, 2012). "The Missing Students". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  17. ^ Salam, Reihan (March 22, 2013). "Tackling the Geographical Dispersion of Low-Income High-Achievers". The Agenda. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  18. ^ Donald, Brooke (March 29, 2013). "New tools help smart low-income kids realize great college opportunities, Stanford researcher says". Stanford Report. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  19. ^ Hoxby, Caroline (2009). "The Changing Selection of American Colleges". Journal of Economic Perspectives. 23 (4): 95–118. CiteSeerX doi:10.1257/jep.23.4.95.
  20. ^ Hoxby, Caroline; Brown, Jeffrey (2015). How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-20183-2.
  21. ^ Vasan, Paula (January 8, 2013). "The Asset Endowments Ignore: Their University". Chief Investment Officer. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  22. ^ "Harvard's Exit Strategy". The Economist. February 12, 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  23. ^ Editorial Board (February 8, 2014). "Massive Open Online Forces". The Economist.
  24. ^ Jesse Rothstein, Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers? A Comment on Hoxby (2000)
  25. ^ Hoxby, Caroline (2007). "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers? Reply". American Economic Review. 97 (5): 2038–55. doi:10.1257/aer.97.5.2038. JSTOR 30034600.
  26. ^ Hilsenrath, Jon E. "Novel Way to Assess School Competition Stirs Academic Row". WSJ. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  27. ^ Rampell, Catherine (2013-04-17). "A History of Oopsies in Economic Studies". Economix Blog. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  28. ^ Michael DeCourcy Hinds. "Scholarship for Social Change". Carnegie Reporter. Carnegie Corporation of New York (volume 2, number 1, Fall 2002). Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
  29. ^ "Past Fellows". Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  30. ^ "Annual Competition for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertations in Government Finance and Taxation". National Tax Association.
  31. ^ "Global Leaders of Tomorrow Class of 2003" (PDF). World Economic Forum.
  32. ^ Rob Capriccioso (February 8, 2006). "Economy of Research". Inside Higher Ed.
  33. ^ "2013 Winners". Smithsonian. Retrieved 2018-03-28.

External links[edit]