Helen F. Ladd

Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy

External Address: 
214A Sanford Building, Sanford School of Public Policy, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90245, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0243
Phone: 
(919) 613-7352

Helen F. Ladd is the Susan B. King Professor of Public Policy Studies and professor of economics at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.  Her education research focuses on school finance and accountability, teacher labor markets, school choice, and early childhood programs.  With colleagues at Duke University and UNC, she has used rich longitudinal administrative data from North Caroline to study school segregation, teacher labor markets, teacher quality, charter schools, and early childhood programs. With her husband, Edward Fiske, she has written books and articles on education reform efforts in New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands, and England.
She is the co-author or co-editor of 12 books. These include Holding Schools Accountable: Performance-Based Reform in Education (Brookings Institution, 1996); The Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy (2008 and second edition 2015), books on school reform in New Zealand and South Africa, and a forthcoming book entitled, Educational Goods, Values, Evidence and Decision Making.  From 1996-99 she co-chaired a National Academy of Sciences Committee on Education Finance. In that capacity she is the co-editor of two books: a set of background papers, Equity and Adequacy in Education Finance and the final report, Making Money Matter: Financing America’s Schools. She is currently a member of a National Academy study of financing early care and education with a highly qualified workforce.  
Prior to 1986, she taught at Dartmouth College, Wellesley College, and at Harvard University, first in the City and Regional Planning Program and then in the Kennedy School of Government.  She graduated with a B.A. degree from Wellesley College in 1967, received a master's degree from the London School of Economics in 1968, and earned her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 1974.
She was president of the Association for Public Policy and Management in 2011 and, since its founding in 2008, has been co-chair of the national campaign for a Broader, Bolder Approach to Education (Boldapproach.org).  Before she shifted to education policy, her research focused on state and local public finance, and she was active in the National Tax Association, which she served as president in 1993-94.  She has also been a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a senior research fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. With the support of two Fulbright grants, she spent the spring term of 1998 in New Zealand studying that country’s education system and the spring term of 2002 doing similar research in South Africa.  More recently, she spent a tern as a visiting researcher at the University of Amsterdam examining the Netherlands’ long experience with parental choice and weighted student funding, and 2 months in London at the Institute for Fiscal Studies  doing research on school improvement and English academies.

Education

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1974

Fiske, EB, and Ladd, HF. Elusive Equity: Education reform in post-Apartheid New Zealand. Brookings Institution Press, 2004.

Fiske, EB, and Ladd, HF. When Schools Compete. Brookings Institution Press, September 19, 2001. (Monograph)

Fiske, EB, and Ladd, HF. When Schools Compete. Brookings Institution Press, September 19, 2001.

Fiske, EB, and Ladd, HF. When Schools Compete. Brookings Institution Press, September 19, 2001.

Ladd, HF, and Yinger, J. America's Ailing Cities: Fiscal Health and the Design of Urban Policy. JHU Press, May 1, 1991.

Schafer, R, and Ladd, HF. Discrimination in Mortgage Lending. MIT Press (MA), 1981.

Ladd, HF. "Confessions of a wellesley FEM." In Eminent Economists II: Their Life and Work Philosophies, 249-269. January 1, 2013. Full Text

Ladd, HF, and Sorensen, LC. "Returns to Teacher Experience: Student Achievement and Motivation in Middle School." Education Finance and Policy 12, no. 2 (April 2017): 241-279. Full Text

Ladd, HF. "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND: A DEEPLY FLAWED FEDERAL POLICY." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 36, no. 2 (March 2017): 461-469. Full Text

Brighouse, H, Ladd, HF, Loeb, S, and Swift, A. "Educational goods and values: A framework for decision makers." Theory and Research in Education 14, no. 1 (March 1, 2016): 3-25. Full Text

Muschkin, CG, Ladd, HF, and Dodge, KA. "Impact of North Carolinas Early Childhood Initiatives on Special Education Placements in Third Grade." Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 37, no. 4 (December 1, 2015): 478-500. Full Text

Clotfelter, CT, Ladd, HF, Muschkin, C, and Vigdor, JL. "Developmental Education in North Carolina Community Colleges." Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 37, no. 3 (September 1, 2015): 354-375. Full Text

Ladd, HF, Muschkin, CG, and Dodge, KA. "From birth to school: Early childhood initiatives and third-grade outcomes in North Carolina." Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 33, no. 1 (December 1, 2014): 162-187. Full Text

Vigdor, JL, Ladd, HF, and Martinez, E. "Scaling the digital divide: Home computer technology and student achievement." Economic Inquiry 52, no. 3 (January 1, 2014): 1103-1119. Full Text

Pages

Clotfelter, C, Ladd, Helen, , Vigdor, and Jacob, . "Surprising Success Among Hispanic students." (June 12, 2006). Open Access Copy

Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research - CALDER awarded by American Institutes for Research (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2017

Exploring the Linkages Between Post-Secondary School and Labor Market Success awarded by American Institutes for Research (Principal Investigator). 2011 to 2014

HUD Community Development Work Study Program awarded by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (Senior Investigator). 2001 to 2003