David Figlio

Institution: Northwestern University

One of the nation’s most influential researchers on education and social policy, David Figlio is the Orrington Lunt Professor and Dean of the School of Education and Social Policy.

In 2017, Figlio was elected to the National Academy of Education for his work involving school accountability, standards, higher education practice, welfare policy, policy design, and the link between health and education. 

An economist by training, Figlio currently serves as a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and an associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty.

He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Human Resources and has served on numerous national education task forces and panels. In addition, Figlio has advised the governments of several U.S. states and nations on five continents on the design, implementation, and evaluation of education policy.

Figlio is a prolific writer and has been published in leading journals, including the American Economic Review, JAMA Pediatrics, Review of Economics and Statistics, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, and Journal of Human Resources

Figlio served as director of the Institute for Policy Research from 2012-2017. Prior to joining the Northwestern faculty in 2008, he taught at the University of Florida, where he was the Knight-Ridder Professor of Economics from 1998-2008, and the University of Oregon, where he was assistant professor of economics from 1995-1998. Figlio earned his PhD in economics in 1995 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Health and Human Services. His work also has been supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropic Society, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.