Carlos Lastra-Anadon is a postdoctoral research fellow at The Europe Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford and an incoming Assistant Professor at IE University in Madrid, Spain. He recently completed his PhD in Government and Social Policy at Harvard University. His research interests lie at the intersection of political economy and policy, particularly education policy.
His work has been concerned with understanding what sustains and enhances robust human capital formation and the role that the political process may play in facilitating or impeding its development in different contexts.
Over the last 20 years or so, the skills that countries have been investing in since World War II such as universal K-12 are becoming insufficient due to automation and delocalization of production and a job market inequality into highly rewarding high-skilled jobs and manual jobs. What drives successful nations, subnational units and companies to use education to tackle that challenge?
He studies the role that politics broadly understood plays in these dynamics. This includes the jurisdictional configurations and institutions (such as decentralization in school districts and funding rules). I have also focused on the effect public and interest groups can have on holding governments to account to ensure the quality of public services through the ballot box and public opinion, and on the types of nongovernmental actors and other reforms that can help in raising standards and developing new types of skills.
His project at TEC with Prof Kenneth Scheve tries to understand the characteristics and political drivers of the development of higher education in the United States since the 1960s.