Education Policy as an Optimal Procurement Problem


Philippines Conference Room

Encina Hall 
616 Serra St.
Stanford, CA 94305-6055

  • Derek Neal

A wealth of research has been conducted on optimal procedures for government procurement of services and the best use of public resources. However, education policy is almost never discussed in these terms, even though many governments in developed countries spend more on education services than any other good or service, with the exception of healthcare. In order to establish an optimal procurement system for education services, features such as performance incentives should be considered. While we move towards developing the optimal education procurement system, simple reforms should allow governments to avoid waste and improve equity. 

Derek Neal is a Professor in the Department of Economics and on the Committee on Education at the University of Chicago.

He researches the design of incentive systems for educators, exploring design flaws in performance pay and accountability systems, and highlighting the advantages of providing incentives through contests among schools. He is currently involved in research projects on increasing student learning in China and Uganda. He is a past President of the Midwest Economics Association and a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. He is a former editor of the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Labor Economics, and the Journal of Human Resources. 

Professor of Economics
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