Ludger Woessmann
Research Fellow

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Woessmann Ludger Woessmann is Professor of Economics at the University of Munich and Director of the Ifo Center for the Economics of Education at the Ifo Institute. His main research interests are the determinants of long-run prosperity and of student achievement. He uses microeconometric methods to answer applied, policy-relevant questions of the empirical economics of education, often using international student achievement tests. Special focuses address the importance of education for economic prosperity – individual and societal, historical and modern – and the importance of institutions of the school systems for efficiency and equity. Further research topics cover aspects of economic history, economics of religion, and the Internet. His work was rewarded, among others, with the Gossen Prize of the German Economic Association, the Young Economist Award of the European Economic Association, the EIB Prize of the European Investment Bank, and the Bruce H. Choppin Memorial Award of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

Woessmann studied economics at Marburg University, the University of Kent at Canterbury, and the Advanced Studies Program of the Kiel Institute for World Economics, where he subsequently worked. He received his PhD from the University of Kiel. He held the 2010 National Fellowship at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and spent extended research visits at Harvard University and the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is Fellow of the International Academy of Education, Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, the German Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), and the Academic Advisory Council of the German Federal Ministry of Economics, Chairman of the Research Committee on Economics of Education of the German Economic Association, and coordinator of the European Expert Network on the Economics of Education (EENEE). He is co-editor of the Handbook of the Economics of Education and co-organizer of the annual CESifo Area Conference on the Economics of Education. Among his over 250 academic publications are 75 articles in refereed journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Journal of Economic Literature, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Public Economics, and the European Economic Review, as well as several books.

He joined IZA as a Research Affiliate in September 2001 and became a Research Fellow in December 2003.
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IZA World of Labor article: Central exit exams improve student outcomes
IZA Discussion Papers:
No. Author(s)
10948  Philipp Lergetporer
Katharina Werner
Ludger Woessmann
Public Opinion on Education Policy in Germany
10357  Martin R. West
Ludger Woessmann
Philipp Lergetporer
Katharina Werner
How Information Affects Support for Education Spending: Evidence from Survey Experiments in Germany and the United States
10298  Franziska Hampf
Ludger Woessmann
Vocational vs. General Education and Employment over the Life-Cycle: New Evidence from PIAAC
(published in: CESifo Economic Studies, 2017, 63 (3), 255-269)
10249  Eric A. Hanushek
Guido Schwerdt
Simon Wiederhold
Ludger Woessmann
Coping with Change: International Differences in the Returns to Skills
(published in: Economics Letters, 2017, 153, 15-19)
10001  Ludger Woessmann
The Importance of School Systems: Evidence from International Differences in Student Achievement
(published in: Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2016, 30 (3), 3-31)
9968  Philipp Lergetporer
Guido Schwerdt
Katharina Werner
Ludger Woessmann
Information and Preferences for Public Spending: Evidence from Representative Survey Experiments
9555  Eric A. Hanushek
Jens Ruhose
Ludger Woessmann
Economic Gains for U.S. States from Educational Reform
(published in: Journal of Human Capital 2017, 11 (4), 447-486)
9130  Eric A. Hanushek
Jens Ruhose
Ludger Woessmann
Human Capital Quality and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States
(published in: American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2017, 9 (4), 184-224)
9122  Guido Schwerdt
Ludger Woessmann
The Information Value of Central School Exams
(published in: Economics of Education Review, 2017, 56, 65-79)
8939  Oliver Falck
Constantin Mang
Ludger Woessmann
Virtually No Effect? Different Uses of Classroom Computers and their Effect on Student Achievement
(forthcoming in: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics)
8016  Sascha O. Becker
Markus Nagler
Ludger Woessmann
Education Promoted Secularization
(published in: Journal of Economic Growth, 2017, 22(3), 273-311 under new title 'Education and Religious Participation: City-Level Evidence from Germany's Secularization Period 1890-1930')
7850  Eric A. Hanushek
Guido Schwerdt
Simon Wiederhold
Ludger Woessmann
Returns to Skills around the World: Evidence from PIAAC
(published in: European Economic Review, 2015, 73, 103-130)
7151  Sascha O. Becker
Ludger Woessmann
Not the Opium of the People: Income and Secularization in a Panel of Prussian Counties
(published in: American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings, 2013, 103 (3), 539-544)
6889  Marc Piopiunik
Guido Schwerdt
Ludger Woessmann
Central School Exit Exams and Labor-Market Outcomes
(published in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2013, 31, 93-108)
6829  Sascha O. Becker
Francesco Cinnirella
Erik Hornung
Ludger Woessmann
iPEHD: The ifo Prussian Economic History Database
(published in: Historical Methods, 2014, 47(2), 57-66)
6185  Eric A. Hanushek
Susanne Link
Ludger Woessmann
Does School Autonomy Make Sense Everywhere? Panel Estimates from PISA
(published in: Journal of Development Economics, 2013, 104, 212-232)
6083  Eric A. Hanushek
Ludger Woessmann
Lei Zhang
General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Life-Cycle
(published in: Journal of Human Resources, 2017, 52 (1), 48-87)
5773  Sascha O. Becker
Ludger Woessmann
Knocking on Heaven's Door? Protestantism and Suicide
(forthcoming in the Review of Economics and Statistics under new title Social Cohesion, Religious Beliefs, and the Effect of Protestantism on Suicide )
5747  Stefan Bauernschuster
Oliver Falck
Ludger Woessmann
Surfing Alone? The Internet and Social Capital: Evidence from an Unforeseeable Technological Mistake
(published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2014, 117, 73-89)
5584  Sascha O. Becker
Katrin Boeckh
Christa Hainz
Ludger Woessmann
The Empire Is Dead, Long Live the Empire! Long-Run Persistence of Trust and Corruption in the Bureaucracy
(published in: Economic Journal, 2016, 126 (590), 40-74)
5431  Guido Schwerdt
Dolores Messer
Ludger Woessmann
Stefan C. Wolter
Effects of Adult Education Vouchers on the Labor Market: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment
(published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2012, 96 (7-8), 569-583)
5401  Eric A. Hanushek
Ludger Woessmann
How Much Do Educational Outcomes Matter in OECD Countries?
(published in: Economic Policy, 2011, 26 (67), 427-491)
5101  Ludger Woessmann
Cross-Country Evidence on Teacher Performance Pay
(published in: Economics of Education Review, 2011, 30 (3), 404-418)
5024  Oliver Falck
Ludger Woessmann
School Competition and Students' Entrepreneurial Intentions: International Evidence Using Historical Catholic Roots of Private Schooling
(published in: Small Business Economics, 2013, 40 (2), 459-478)
4999  Johannes Metzler
Ludger Woessmann
The Impact of Teacher Subject Knowledge on Student Achievement: Evidence from Within-Teacher Within-Student Variation
(published in: Journal of Development Economics, 2012, 99 (2), 486 - 496)
4926  Eric A. Hanushek
Ludger Woessmann
Sample Selectivity and the Validity of International Student Achievement Tests in Economic Research
(published in: Economics Letters, 2011, 110 (2), 79-82)
This paper has repeatedly been among the Top 10 monthly downloads. 
Eric A. Hanushek
Ludger Woessmann
The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement
(published in: E.A. Hanushek, S. Machin, L. Woessmann (eds.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, Vol. 3, pp. 89-200, Amsterdam: North Holland, 2011)
4725  Martin Schlotter
Guido Schwerdt
Ludger Woessmann
Econometric Methods for Causal Evaluation of Education Policies and Practices: A Non-Technical Guide
(published in: Education Economics, 2011, 19 (2), 109-137)
4576  Eric A. Hanushek
Ludger Woessmann
Schooling, Cognitive Skills, and the Latin American Growth Puzzle
(published in: Journal of Development Economics, 2012, 99 (2), 497-512)
4575  Eric A. Hanushek
Ludger Woessmann
Do Better Schools Lead to More Growth? Cognitive Skills, Economic Outcomes, and Causation
(published in: Journal of Economic Growth, 2012, 17 (4), 267-321)
4557  Sascha O. Becker
Francesco Cinnirella
Ludger Woessmann
The Trade-off between Fertility and Education: Evidence from before the Demographic Transition
(published in: Journal of Economic Growth, 2010, 15 (3), 177–204)
4556  Sascha O. Becker
Erik Hornung
Ludger Woessmann
Catch Me If You Can: Education and Catch-up in the Industrial Revolution
(published as 'Education and Catch-up in the Industrial Revolution' in: American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 2011, 3 (3), 92-126)
3837  Sascha O. Becker
Ludger Woessmann
Luther and the Girls: Religious Denomination and the Female Education Gap in 19th Century Prussia
(published in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2008, 110 (4), 777–805)
3818  Martin R. West
Ludger Woessmann
"Every Catholic Child in a Catholic School": Historical Resistance to State Schooling, Contemporary Private Competition, and Student Achievement across Countries
(published in: Economic Journal, 2010, 120(546), F229-F255)
2886  Sascha O. Becker
Ludger Woessmann
Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History
(published in: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2009, 124(2), 531-596)
2880  Ludger Woessmann
Fundamental Determinants of School Efficiency and Equity: German States as a Microcosm for OECD Countries
(published in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik , 2010, 230 (2), 234-270)
1906  Gabriela Schütz
Heinrich W. Ursprung
Ludger Woessmann
Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity
(published in: Kyklos, 2008, 61 (2), 279-308)
1901  Eric A. Hanushek
Ludger Woessmann
Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries
(published in: Economic Journal, 2006, 116 (510), C63-C76)
1287  Thomas Fuchs
Ludger Woessmann
What Accounts for International Differences in Student Performance? A Re-Examination Using PISA Data
(published in: Empirical Economics, 2007, 32 (2-3), 433-464)
1284  Ludger Woessmann
How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States
(published in: Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, 2008, 78 (1), 45-70)
746  Andreas Ammermüller
Hans Heijke
Ludger Woessmann
Schooling Quality in Eastern Europe: Educational Production During Transition
(published in: Economics of Education Review, 2005, 24 (5), 579-599)
745  Ludger Woessmann
Educational Production in East Asia: The Impact of Family Background and Schooling Policies on Student Performance
(published in: German Economic Review, 2005, 6 (3), 331-353)
744  Martin R. West
Ludger Woessmann
Which School Systems Sort Weaker Students into Smaller Classes? International Evidence
(published in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2006, 22 (4), 944-968)
485  Ludger Woessmann
Martin R. West
Class-Size Effects in School Systems Around the World: Evidence from Between-Grade Variation in TIMSS
(published in: European Economic Review, 2006, 50 (3), 695-736)
484  John H. Bishop
Ludger Woessmann
Institutional Effects in a Simple Model of Educational Production
(published in: Education Economics, 2004, 12 (1), 17-38)
IZA Standpunkte:
No. Author(s)
69 Franziska Kugler
Guido Schwerdt
Ludger Woessmann
Ökonometrische Methoden zur Evaluierung kausaler Effekte der Wirtschaftspolitik
(published in: Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, 2014, 15 (2), 105-132)