The economics of education is a wide-ranging and growing sub-field of economics. It encompasses topics such as research on returns to education in the labour market, efficiency of the education “industry”, effets of education on the growth of economies, and educational finance. It also encompasses all levels of education, ranging from pre-school learning over school and university education and training to lifelong learning.

The following list provides an encompassing overview of the various sub-fields of research in the economics of education and of the most important topics within each sub-field. To illustrate the kind of work performed under each of these headings, we present below a brief overview of some research undertaken by members of the EENEE network as examples of research in each category.

Each reference list contains three parts: first, a list of “Introductory Reading”, where somebody who does not know this literature might want to start from; second, a list of “Key References”, which may require some more knowledge of the field but might be viewed as belonging to the most important references in this literature; and third, a list of “Further Reading” in this literature, organized by date of publication. As far as possible, the lists provide an abstract for each entry, as well as a link to the publication or at least its publisher.

It is clear that these reference lists can never be exhaustive, particularly because the literature on the economics of education is so wide-ranging and continues to expand ever more rapidly. Thus, if you detected important omissions in the lists, particularly of introductions or overviews of particular topics, or if you want to post your own recent published articles and working papers, we would be most grateful if you could let us know by email to