Eric Bettinger is the Conley DeAngelis Family Professor in the Stanford University School of Education and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He is also a research associate in the program on education at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Bettinger is the Director of the Center for Educational Policy Analysis and the Director at the Lemann Center for Brazilian Education at Stanford. His research interests include economics of education; student success and completion in college; the impacts of online education; the impacts of financial aid; teacher characteristics and student success in college; effects of voucher programs on both academic and non-academic outcomes. Eric’s research focuses on using rigorous statistical methods in identifying cause-and-effect relationships in higher education. His research on simplifying financial aid applications has influenced recent efforts by the White House to simplify financial aid processes. He has served as a consultant to the White House and various state governments on financial aid policies.

Academic Appointments

Administrative Appointments

  • Conley DeAngelis Family Professor of Education and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University (2008 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Affiliate, Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis, Lemann Center for Entrepreneurship and Educational Innovation in Brazil, Stanford Center for International Development, Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment at Teacher’s College, Center for the Analysis for Postsecondary Readiness at Teacher’s College, CESifo (2019 - Present)
  • Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research (2003 - Present)
  • Affiliate, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (2015 - Present)
  • Faculty Director, Aspen-Stanford Collaboration on Community College Leadership, Stanford University (2015 - 2023)
  • Assistant/Associate Professor of Economics, Case Western Reserve (2000 - 2008)

Program Affiliations

  • Public Policy

Professional Education

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Economics (2000)
  • B.A., Brigham Young University, Economics. Magna cum Laude, Honors (1996)

Research Interests

  • Data Sciences
  • Economics and Education
  • Higher Education
  • International and Comparative Education

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Recent Publications:

Patrick Lehnert, Michael Niederberger, Uschi Backes-Gellner, and Eric Bettinger (2023) "Proxying economic activity with daytime satellite imagery: Filling data gaps across time and space" PNAS Nexus 2(4):1-10.

Bettinger, E., Fairlie, R., Kapuza, A., Kardanova, E., Loyalka, P. and Zakharov, A. (2023), Diminishing Marginal Returns to Computer-Assisted Learning. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. 42(2): 552-570.

Forthcoming/Working Papers:

Bettinger, Eric, Michael Kremer, Maurice Kugler, Carlos Medina, Christian Posso and Juan Saavedra. “School Vouchers, Labor Markets, and Vocational Education” Under Submission.

Bettinger, Eric, Nina Cunha, Guilherme Lichand, and Ricardo Madeira, “Are the Effects of Informational Interventions Driven by Salience?” Conditionally accepted American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Lichand, Guilherme, Eric Bettinger, Nina Cunha, and Ricardo Madeira, “The Psychological Effects of Poverty on Investments in Children’s Human Capital.” Under Submission.

Lehnert, Patrick, Madison Dell, Uschi Backes-Gellner, and Eric Bettinger “The Effect of Postsecondary Educational Institutions on Local Economies: A Bird’s-Eye View” Under Submission.

Balakrishnan, Sidhya, Eric Bettinger, Michael S Kofoed, Dubravka Ritter, Douglas A Webber, Ege Aksu, Jonathan S Hartley, “Navigating Higher Education Insurance: An Experimental Study on Demand and Adverse Selection” Under Submission.

Fidjeland, Andreas and Eric Bettinger. “College Rankings, Labor Market Outcomes, and Alumni Satisfaction" Revise and Resubmit at Education Economics.

Bettinger, Eric, Monica Lee, and Bridget Terry Long. “Connecting Students with Financial Aid: The Impact of Information on Aid Renewal and Postsecondary Persistence” Under Submission.

Lichand, Guilherme, Eric Bettinger, Elliott Ash, Ana Ribeiro, Carlos Doria and David Yeager, “Measuring Student Mindsets at Scale in Resource-constrained Settings: A Toolkit with an Application to Brazil during the Pandemic” Revise and Resubmit and Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Other Notable/Highly Cited Publications:

Bettinger, Eric, Lindsay Fox, Susanna Loeb, and Eric Taylor, (2017) “Changing Distributions: How Online College Classes Alter Student and Professor Performance.” American Economic Review 107(9): 2855-75. [equal authorship].

Bettinger, Eric, Bridget Long, Phil Oreopoulos and Lisa Sanbonmatsu, (2012) "The Role of Simplification and Information: Evidence from the FAFSA Experiment.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 127 (3), 1205-1242. [equal authorship]

Angrist, Joshua, Eric Bettinger, Erik Bloom, Michael Kremer, and Elizabeth King (2002) “The Effects of School Vouchers on Students: Evidence from Colombia,” American Economic Review 92(5): 1535-1558. [equal authorship].

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • College rankings, labor market outcomes, and alumni satisfaction EDUCATION ECONOMICS Bettinger, E., Fidjeland, A. 2024
  • Proxying economic activity with daytime satellite imagery: Filling data gaps across time and space. PNAS nexus Lehnert, P., Niederberger, M., Backes-Gellner, U., Bettinger, E. 2023; 2 (4): pgad099


    This paper develops a novel procedure for proxying economic activity with daytime satellite imagery across time periods and spatial units, for which reliable data on economic activity are otherwise not available. In developing this unique proxy, we apply machine-learning techniques to a historical time series of daytime satellite imagery dating back to 1984. Compared to satellite data on night light intensity, another common economic proxy, our proxy more precisely predicts economic activity at smaller regional levels and over longer time horizons. We demonstrate our measure's usefulness for the example of Germany, where East German data on economic activity are unavailable for detailed regional levels and historical time series. Our procedure is generalizable to any region in the world, and it has great potential for analyzing historical economic developments, evaluating local policy reforms, and controlling for economic activity at highly disaggregated regional levels in econometric applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/pnasnexus/pgad099

    View details for PubMedID 37077886

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10108942

  • Diminishing Marginal Returns to Computer-Assisted Learning JOURNAL OF POLICY ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT Bettinger, E., Fairlie, R., Kapuza, A., Kardanova, E., Loyalka, P., Zakharov, A. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pam.22442

    View details for Web of Science ID 000889907200001

  • Finishing the Last Lap: Experimental Evidence on Strategies to Increase Attainment for Students Near College Completion JOURNAL OF POLICY ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT Bettinger, E. P., Castleman, B. L., Choe, A., Mabel, Z. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pam.22416

    View details for Web of Science ID 000853826600001

  • Unmet Need: Evaluating Pell as a Lever for Equitable Dual Enrollment Participation and Outcomes EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS Bettinger, E. P., Lu, A., Matheny, K. T., Kienzl, G. S. 2022
  • The effects of public high school subsidies on student test scores The case of a full-day high school in Pernambuco, Brazil ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW Rosa, L., Bettinger, E., Carnoy, M., Dantas, P. 2022; 87
  • How Can We Inspire Nations of Learners? An Investigation of Growth Mindset and Challenge-Seeking in Two Countries AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST Rege, M., Hanselman, P., Solli, I., Dweck, C. S., Ludvigsen, S., Bettinger, E., Crosnoe, R., Muller, C., Walton, G., Duckworth, A., Yeager, D. S. 2021; 76 (5): 755-767


    Here we evaluate the potential for growth mindset interventions (that teach students that intellectual abilities can be developed) to inspire adolescents to be "learners"-that is, to seek out challenging learning experiences. In a previous analysis, the U.S. National Study of Learning Mindsets (NSLM) showed that a growth mindset could improve the grades of lower-achieving adolescents, and, in an exploratory analysis, increase enrollment in advanced math courses across achievement levels. Yet, the importance of being a "learner" in today's global economy requires clarification and replication of potential challenge-seeking effects, as well as an investigation of the school affordances that make intervention effects on challenge-seeking possible. To this end, the present article presents new analyses of the U.S. NSLM (N = 14,472) to (a) validate a standardized, behavioral measure of challenge-seeking (the "make-a-math worksheet" task), and (b) show that the growth mindset treatment increased challenge-seeking on this task. Second, a new experiment conducted with nearly all schools in 2 counties in Norway, the U-say experiment (N = 6,541), replicated the effects of the growth mindset intervention on the behavioral challenge-seeking task and on increased advanced math course-enrollment rates. Treated students took (and subsequently passed) advanced math at a higher rate. Critically, the U-say experiment provided the first direct evidence that a structural factor-school policies governing when and how students opt in to advanced math-can afford students the possibility of profiting from a growth mindset intervention or not. These results highlight the importance of motivational research that goes beyond grades or performance alone and focuses on challenge-seeking. The findings also call attention to the affordances of school contexts that interact with student motivation to promote better achievement and economic trajectories. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/amp0000647

    View details for Web of Science ID 000718373900004

    View details for PubMedID 33180534

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8113339

  • Virtual advising for high-achieving high school students ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW Gurantz, O., Pender, M., Mabel, Z., Larson, C., Bettinger, E. 2020; 75
  • Online education platforms scale college STEM instruction with equivalent learning outcomes at lower cost. Science advances Chirikov, I., Semenova, T., Maloshonok, N., Bettinger, E., Kizilcec, R. F. 2020; 6 (15): eaay5324


    Meeting global demand for growing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce requires solutions for the shortage of qualified instructors. We propose and evaluate a model for scaling up affordable access to effective STEM education through national online education platforms. These platforms allow resource-constrained higher education institutions to adopt online courses produced by the country's top universities and departments. A multisite randomized controlled trial tested this model with fully online and blended instruction modalities in Russia's online education platform. We find that online and blended instruction produce similar student learning outcomes as traditional in-person instruction at substantially lower costs. Adopting this model at scale reduces faculty compensation costs that can fund increases in STEM enrollment.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.aay5324

    View details for PubMedID 32284995

  • The Structure of Peers: The Impact of Peer Networks on Academic Achievement RESEARCH IN HIGHER EDUCATION Berthelon, M., Bettinger, E., Kruger, D. I., Montecinos-Pearce, A. 2019; 60 (7): 931–59
  • College Guidance for All: A Randomized Experiment in Pre-College Advising JOURNAL OF POLICY ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT Bettinger, E. P., Evans, B. J. 2019; 38 (3): 579-+

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pam.22133

    View details for Web of Science ID 000470934700004

  • The Long-Run Impacts of Financial Aid: Evidence from California's Cal Grant AMERICAN ECONOMIC JOURNAL-ECONOMIC POLICY Bettinger, E., Gurantz, O., Kawano, L., Sacerdote, B., Stevens, M. 2019; 11 (1): 64–94
  • Mass Instruction or Higher Learning? The Impact of College Class Size on Student Retention and Graduation EDUCATION FINANCE AND POLICY Bettinger, E. P., Long, B. 2018; 13 (1): 97–118
  • The Effect of Labor Market Information on Community College Students' Major Choice ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW Baker, R., Bettinger, E., Jacob, B., Marinescu, I. 2018; 65: 18–30
  • Increasing perseverance in math: Evidence from a field experiment in Norway JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR & ORGANIZATION Bettinger, E., Ludvigsen, S., Rege, M., Solli, I. F., Yeager, D. 2018; 146: 1–15
  • Virtual Classrooms: How Online College Courses Affect Student Success AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW Bettinger, E. P., Fox, L., Loeb, S., Taylor, E. S. 2017; 107 (9): 2855-2875
  • The effects of class size in online college courses: Experimental evidence ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW Bettinger, E., Doss, C., Loeb, S., Rogers, A., Taylor, E. 2017; 58: 68–85
  • Connections Matter: How Interactive Peers Affect Students in Online College Courses JOURNAL OF POLICY ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT Bettinger, E., Liu, J., Loeb, S. 2016; 35 (4): 932-?

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pam.21932

    View details for Web of Science ID 000383668300010

  • When inputs are outputs: The case of graduate student instructors ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW Bettinger, E. P., Long, B. T., Taylor, E. S. 2016; 52: 63-76
  • Special issue on Behavioral Economics of Education Introduction JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC BEHAVIOR & ORGANIZATION Bettinger, E., Nielsen, H., Schunk, D. 2015; 115: 1-2
  • Need-Based Aid and College Persistence: The Effects of the Ohio College Opportunity Grant EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS Bettinger, E. 2015; 37: 102S-119S
  • Need-based aid and college persistence: The effects of the Ohio College Opportunity Grant Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Bettinger, E. 2015; 37 (1_suppl): 102S-119S
  • Home with Mom: The Effects of Stay-at-Home Parents on Children's Long-Run Educational Outcomes JOURNAL OF LABOR ECONOMICS Bettinger, E., Haegeland, T., Rege, M. 2014; 32 (3): 443-467

    View details for DOI 10.1086/675070

    View details for Web of Science ID 000340135100003

  • The Effects of Student Coaching: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Advising EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION AND POLICY ANALYSIS Bettinger, E. P., Baker, R. B. 2014; 36 (1): 3-19
  • Home with mom: the effects of stay-at-home parents on children’s long-run educational outcomes Journal of Labor Economics Bettinger, E., Hægeland, T., Rege, M. 2014; 32 (3): 443-467
  • The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Bettinger, E. P., Baker, R. B. 2014; 36 (1): 3-19
  • Lessons learned from a data-driven college access program: The National College Advising Corps. New directions for youth development Horng, E. L., Evans, B. J., Antonio, A. L., Foster, J. D., Kalamkarian, H. S., Hurd, N. F., Bettinger, E. P. 2013; 2013 (140): 55-75


    This chapter discusses the collaboration between a national college access program, the National College Advising Corps (NCAC), and its research and evaluation team at Stanford University. NCAC is currently active in almost four hundred high schools and through the placement of a recent college graduate to serve as a college adviser provides necessary information and support for students who may find it difficult to navigate the complex college admission process. The advisers also conduct outreach to underclassmen in an effort to improve the school-wide college-going culture. Analyses include examination of both quantitative and qualitative data from numerous sources and partners with every level of the organization from the national office to individual high schools. The authors discuss balancing the pursuit of evaluation goals with academic scholarship. In an effort to benefit other programs seeking to form successful data-driven interventions, the authors provide explicit examples of the partnership and present several examples of how the program has benefited from the data gathered by the evaluation team.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/yd.20078

    View details for PubMedID 24474258

  • Improving College Performance and Retention the Easy Way: Unpacking the ACT Exam AMERICAN ECONOMIC JOURNAL-ECONOMIC POLICY Bettinger, E. P., Evans, B. J., Pope, D. G. 2013; 5 (2): 26-52

    View details for DOI 10.1257/pol.5.2.26

    View details for Web of Science ID 000318431900002

  • Student Supports: Developmental Education and Other Academic Programs FUTURE OF CHILDREN Bettinger, E. P., Boatman, A., Long, B. T. 2013; 23 (1): 93-115


    Low rates of college completion are a major problem in the United States. Less than 60 percent of students at four-year colleges graduate within six years, and at some colleges, the graduation rate is less than 10 percent. Additionally, many students enter higher education ill-prepared to comprehend college-level course material. Some estimates suggest that only one-third of high school graduates finish ready for college work; the proportion is even lower among older students. Colleges have responded to the poor preparation of incoming students by placing approximately 35 to 40 percent of entering freshmen into remedial or developmental courses, along with providing academic supports such as summer bridge programs, learning communities, academic counseling, and tutoring, as well as student supports such as financial aid and child care. Eric Bettinger, Angela Boatman, and Bridget Terry Long describe the role, costs, and impact of these college remediation and academic support programs. According to a growing body of research, the effects of remedial courses are considerably nuanced. The courses appear to help or hinder students differently by state, institution, background, and academic preparedness. The mixed findings from earlier research have raised questions ranging from whether remedial programs, on average, improve student academic outcomes to which types of programs are most effective. Administrators, practitioners, and policy makers are responding by redesigning developmental courses and searching for ways to implement effective remediation programs more broadly. In addition, recent research suggests that colleges may be placing too many students into remedial courses unnecessarily, suggesting the need for further examining the placement processes used to assign students to remedial courses. The authors expand the scope of remediation research by discussing other promising areas of academic support commonly offered by colleges, including advising, tutoring, and mentoring programs, as well as supports that target the competing responsibilities of students, namely caring for dependents and balancing employment with schoolwork. They conclude that the limited resources of institutions and equally limited funds of students make it imperative for postsecondary institutions to improve student academic supports and other services.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000318477900005

  • Improving college performance and retention the easy way: Unpacking the ACT exam American Economic Journal: Economic Policy Bettinger, E. P., Evans, B. J., Pope, D. G. 2013; 5 (2): 26-52
  • Lessons learned from a data‐driven college access program: The National College Advising Corps New directions for youth development Horng, E. L., Evans, B. J., Antonio, A. L., Foster, J. D., Kalamkarian, H. S., Hurd, N. F., Bettinger, E. P. 2013; 2013 (140): 55-75
  • The Role of Application Assistance and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H & R Block Fafsa Experiment QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS Bettinger, E. P., Long, B. T., Oreopoulos, P., Sanbonmatsu, L. 2012; 127 (3): 1205-1242

    View details for DOI 10.1093/qje/qjs017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307835000004

  • The role of simplification and information: Evidence from the FAFSA experiment Quarterly Journal of Economics Bettinger, E., Long, B., Oreopoulos, P., Sanbonmatsu, L. 2012; 123 (3): 1205-1242
  • Financial Aid A Blunt Instrument for Increasing Degree Attainment GETTING TO GRADUATION: THE COMPLETION AGENDA IN HIGHER EDUCATION Bettinger, E., Kelly, A. P., Schneider, M. 2012: 157-174
  • Educational Vouchers in International Contexts HANDBOOK OF THE ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION, VOL 4 Bettinger, E., Hanushek, E. A., Machin, S., Woessmann, L. 2011; 4: 551-572
  • ARE EDUCATIONAL VOUCHERS ONLY REDISTRIBUTIVE? ECONOMIC JOURNAL Bettinger, E., Kremer, M., Saavedra, J. E. 2010; 120 (546): F204-F228
  • Addressing the Needs of Underprepared Students in Higher Education Does College Remediation Work? JOURNAL OF HUMAN RESOURCES Bettinger, E. P., Long, B. T. 2009; 44 (3): 736-771
  • Education Vouchers in Colombia EMERGING EVIDENCE ON VOUCHERS AND FAITH-BASED PROVIDERS IN EDUCATION: CASE STUDIES FROM AFRICA, LATIN AMERICA, AND ASIA Bettinger, E., Kremer, M., Saavedra, J. E., BarreraOsorio, F., Patrinos, H. A., Wodon, Q. 2009: 71-78