Martin R. West

Martin R. West is William Henry Bloomberg Professor of Education at Harvard University.

  • Public Opinion and the Political Economy of Education Policy around the World

    Public Opinion and the Political Economy of Education Policy around the World

    Martin R. West and Ludger Woessmann

    Comparative analyses of public opinion on education policy in developed countries.

    Although research has suggested a variety of changes to education policy that have the potential to improve educational outcomes, politicians are often reluctant to implement such evidence-based reforms. Public opinion and pressure by interest groups would seem to have a greater role in shaping education policy than insights drawn from empirical data. The construction of a comparative political economy of education that seeks to explain policy differences among nations is long overdue. This book offers the first comparative inventory and analysis of public opinion on education in developed countries, drawing on data primarily from Europe and the United States.

    Contributors first compare public attitudes about such policy topics as education spending and the status of teachers across many countries, with a particular emphasis on the two largest industrialized nations in the western world, the United States and Germany. The book then offers case studies of education policies and reforms in specific settings. Chapters examine issues including partisan and ideological conflict over government spending on schools in the United States; the effect of information provision on German public opinion on education; and demographic differences and education policy preferences in Switzerland.


    Samuel Barrows, Marius R. Busemeyer, Maria A. Cattaneo, Peter Dolton, Julian L. Garritzmann, Michael B. Henderson, Anja Kilibarda, Philipp Lergetporer, Oliver McClellan, Paul E. Peterson, Robert Y. Shapiro, Sofi Sinozich, Katharina Werner, Martin R. West, Ludger Woessmann, Stefan C. Wolter

    • Hardcover $50.00