Sean P. Corcoran

Associate Professor of Educational Economics

Sean P. Corcoran

Phone: 212-992-9468

Sean P. Corcoran is an associate professor of educational economics at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and an affiliated faculty of the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and NYU Institute for Education and Social Policy (IESP). Dr. Corcoran earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2003. Among other things, his research focuses on human capital in the teaching profession, the economics of school choice, and state and local public finance. His published papers have examined long-run trends in teacher quality, the impact of income inequality and school finance reform on the level and equity of education funding in the United States, the properties of “value-added” measures of teacher effectiveness, and the high school choices of middle school students in New York City.

Dr. Corcoran serves on the editorial boards of the journals Education Finance and Policy and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and is a former member of the board of directors of the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP). In 2005, he was a visiting scholar in residence at the Russell Sage Foundation, and in 2012-13 he was a visiting scholar at the Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA) at Stanford. Dr. Corcoran was recently appointed to the research committee of CAEP, the new accreditation body responsible for setting standards of educator preparation in the U.S.

Degrees Held

  • Ph.D University of Maryland 2003


  • 2011 : Co-Principal Investigator, NIH grant, "How Does School Food Policy Shape the Health, Fitness, and Academic Outcomes of School Children?”
  • 2009 : Principal Investigator, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, "The Future of the Nursing Workforce: What Nursing Workforce Research Can Learn From Other Labor Markets"
  • 2008 : Co-Principal Investigator, NYU University Research Challenge Fund, "Fair Student Funding: The Effects of Student-Based Budgeting on Equity and Achievement"
  • 2006 : Principal Investigator, Spencer Foundation, "The Political Economy of Inequality in America's Public Schools"
  • 2006 : Principal Investigator, Russell Sage Foundation grant, "The Politics of Inequality and Redistribution in U.S. Education Finance"

Selected Publications

  • Curriculum Vitae (link)
  • Corcoran, Sean P. and Dan Goldhaber (2013) "Value-Added and its Uses: Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit." Education Finance and Policy 8(3): 418-434. (link)
  • Leos-Urbel, Jacob, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Meryle Weinstein, and Sean Corcoran (2013) "Not Just for Poor Kids: The Impact of Universal Free School Breakfast on Meal Participation and Student Outcomes," Economics of Education Review 36: 88-107. (link)
  • Nathanson, Lori, Sean P. Corcoran, and Christine Baker-Smith (2013), "High School Choice in New York City: A Report on the School Choices and Placements of Low-Achieving Students," Research Alliance for NYC Schools. (link)
  • Corcoran, Sean P., Amy Ellen Schwartz, and Meryle Weinstein (2012) "Training Your Own: The Impact of New York City's Aspiring Principals Program on Achievement." Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 34(2): 232-253. (link)
  • Corcoran, Sean P. and Christiana Stoddard (2011), "Local Demand for School Choice: Evidence from the Washington Charter School Referenda," Education Finance and Policy, 6(3): 323-353. (link)
  • Corcoran, Sean P. and Henry M. Levin (2011) "School Choice and Competition in the New York City Schools," in Education Reform in New York City: Ambitious Change in the Nation's Most Complex School System, eds. Jennifer O'Day, Catherine Bitter, and Louis M. Gomez, Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Invited chapter for the American Institute for Research.
  • "Equity, Adequacy, and the Evolving State Role in Education Finance," with William N. Evans, in Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy, ed. Helen F. Ladd and Edward B. Fiske, New York: Routledge, 2008. (link)
  • "The Troubled Quest for Equality in School Finance," with Howard Rosenthal and Thomas Romer, in What do we Owe Each Other? Rights and Obligations in Contemporary American Society, ed. Howard Rosenthal and David J. Rothman, Piscataway, NJ: Transaction, 2008.
  • "Stalled Progress in Closing the Race Achievement Gap: The Role of Teacher Quality," with William N. Evans, in Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black- White Test Score Gap, ed. Katherine Magnuson and Jane Waldfogel, New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2008. (link)
  • "The Political Economy of School Choice: Support for Charter Schools Across States and School Districts," with Christiana Stoddard. Journal of Urban Economics, v. 62 n. 1, July 2007. (link)
  • "Long-run Trends in the Quality of Teachers: Evidence and Implications for Policy," Education Finance and Policy, Fall 2007, vol. 2 no. 4. (link)
  • "Women, the Labor Market, and the Declining Relative Quality of Teachers," with William N. Evans and Robert M. Schwab. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v. 23 n. 3, Summer 2004. (link)


  • RESCH-GE 2110 - Applied Statistics: Using Large Databases in Education Research
  • EDPLY-GE 2025 - Economics of Education
  • RESCH-GE 2155 - Economic Analysis for Education Policy
  • EDPLY-GE 2020 - Financing Schools: Equity and Adequacy in Public Education
  • INTE-GE 2008 - Comparative Education II: Quantitative Analysis

Research Interests

  • state and local public finance
  • teacher labor markets
  • school finance
  • school choice and charter schools
  • applied econometrics