Skip to main content
David Figlio headshot

David Figlio

Provost and Gordon Fyfe Professor of Economics and Education

Other University of Rochester

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison (economics)
MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison (economics)
BS, George Washington University (business administration)


David Figlio is an internationally recognized economist and educational leader whose interdisciplinary research spans educational, public, and social policy, including the link between health and education. He conducts research on a wide range of education and health policy issues from school accountability and standards to welfare policy and policy design, as well as the interrelationship between education and health. He also studies aspects of the academic profession itself, with recent papers on academic peer review and the publication process. He collaborates frequently with state and local health and education agencies, and recently led a National Science Foundation-sponsored national network to facilitate the use of matched administrative datasets to inform and evaluate education policy. He was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2017.

Figlio has published his work in numerous leading journals, including the American Economic ReviewProceedings of the National Academy of SciencesJAMA PediatricsReview of Economics and StatisticsAmerican Economic Journal: Applied EconomicsAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and Journal of Human Resources. Organizations supporting his research include the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Health and Human Services, as well as the Annie E. Casey, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Gates, Laura and John Arnold, MacArthur, Smith Richardson, and Spencer foundations, among others.
Figlio is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research; a research fellow of the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany; a member of the CESifo Network on the Economics of Education in Munich, Germany; and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He served as the inaugural editor of the Association for Education Finance and Policy’s journal, Education Finance and Policy (MIT Press), and recently completed ten years as coeditor and then editor (from 2015-21) of the Journal of Human Resources. He has been part of numerous national education task forces and panels, such as the Institute of Medicine’s panel on the Science of Child Development from Birth through Age Eight, and advised several U.S. states and foreign nations on the design, implementation, and evaluation of educational policies.

Figlio joined the University of Rochester on July 1, 2022 from Northwestern University, where served as Orrington Lunt Professor and Dean of the School of Education and Social Policy, and was previously the Director of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research. Prior to that, he taught at the University of Oregon and the University of Florida, where he was the Knight-Ridder Professor of Economics.