Helen F. Ladd

Susan B. King Professor Emeritus of Public Policy, Professor Emeritus of Economics, and Faculty Fellow of the Center for Child and Family Policy

Helen F. "Sunny" Ladd is the Susan B. King Professor Emeritus of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy and professor emeritus of economics at Duke University. Most of her current research focuses on education policy. She is particularly interested in various aspects school accountability, education finance, teacher labor markets, and school choice.

Ladd has written numerous articles and books on charter schools and other forms of choice in North Carolina, self-governing schools and parental choice in both New Zealand and the Netherlands, market based reforms in urban school districts, voucher programs, and school reform in post-Apartheid South Africa. In addition, with colleagues at Duke University she has written extensively about school segregation, teacher labor markets, and teacher quality.

Research Interests:

  • Economics
  • Education


  • Ph.D. Harvard University - 1974
  • MSc with distinction London School of Economics - 1968
  • B.A. Wellesley College - 1967

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • Ladd, HF (2012) Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence, Presidential address to the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 31, 203-227, [DukeSpace], [doi], [abs]
  • Ladd, HF; Fiske, EB (2008) Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy Education Finance and Policy, 3, 149-150, [doi]
  • Clotfelter, CT; Ladd, HF; Vigdor, JL (2011) Teacher Mobility, school Segregation, and Pay-Based policies to level the playing field Education Finance and Policy, 6, 399-438, [doi], [abs]
  • H.F. Ladd, Charles T. Clotfelter, Jacob Vigdor (2010) Teacher Credentials and Student Achievement in High School: A Cross Subject Analysis with Fixed Effects Journal of Human Resources, [655.full.pdf+html]
  • Bifulco, R; Ladd, HF (2007) School choice, racial segregation, and test-score gaps: Evidence from North Carolina's charter school program Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26, 31-56, [doi], [abs]