Watson Institute at Brown University
Public Policy
John Tyler

John Tyler

+1 401 863 1036
Barus Hall, 340 Brook Street, Room 108

Downloadable CV

John Tyler

Professor of Education, Economics, and Public Policy
Associate Dean of the Graduate School

Areas of Interest: Economics of education, program evaluation, K-12 reform, teacher evaluation.


John Tyler is professor of education, economics, and public policy at Brown as well as an associate dean of the Graduate School. Tyler's recent research focuses on teacher evaluation and measures of teacher effectiveness, examinations of how teachers use data to inform and improve their practice, and in general, impact evaluation in education. Past research has examined dropout issues, the economic returns to the GED credential, the returns to skills for low educated individuals, and the impact of correctional education on post-release labor market outcomes of criminal justice offenders.

Tyler received a BS in mathematics and physics from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. Following college he took over the family farming operation in West Texas for the next fourteen years. He combined his last years of farming with a position teaching middle school mathematics, a move that eventually led to doctoral studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he focused on studies in the economics of education.


John Tyler’s recent research is in the area of teacher evaluation, and in particular whether and how teacher evaluation systems can help teachers become more effective. A current project uses data from a state teacher evaluation system to match teachers who scored low in certain areas of the evaluation with teachers in the same school who scored higher on the same fine-grained dimensions of practice. These matches are then provided to school principals so that the principals can establish teaching “partnerships” with a goal of providing a mechanism whereby higher performing teachers can help their lower performing colleagues become more effective. The project is currently undergoing a randomized evaluation.


ECON 1301 Economics of Education I

This course teaches students how to use microeconomics to analyze a broad array of education policy issues. The departure of this course from ECON 1110 is the emphasis on studying microeconomics in applied settings, and in particular, using microeonomic concepts to think about, analyze, and solve policy questions in education.

EDUC 1130 Economics of Education I

How do we attract good teachers to public schools? What are the economic returns to early-childhood intervention programs? These are just two examples of important education policy questions. This course introduces key concepts of microeconomic theory and uses them to analyze these and other policy questions. Organized around a structured sequence of readings.

EDUC 2350, Economics of Education II (graduate)

This course introduces students to the main economic theories and related applied work that inform education policy analysis. In so doing, the course combines economic theory, econometric studies, and education and institutional literature in an examination of current issues in US education, particularly those issues that are most relevant to urban education. The course begins with examinations of key concepts and theories from microeconomics, labor economics, and public economics that are most relevant for studying questions in education. After laying this theoretical foundation the course then examines how these theories can illuminate and aid policy analysis around key topics in U.S. education.



“If You Build It Will They Come? Teachers’ Online Use of Student Performance Data.” Education Finance and Policy 8(2): 168-207.

“Does Prison-Based Adult Basic Education Improve Post-Release Outcomes for Male Prisoners in Florida?” (with lead author Rosa Cho). Crime and Delinquency 59(7): 975-1005.


“The Effect of Evaluation on Teacher Performance” (with co-author Eric S. Taylor) American Economic Review 102(7):3628-3651.

“Can Teacher Evaluation Improve Teaching?” (with co-author Eric S. Taylor). Education Next 12(4).


“Identifying Effective Classroom Practice Using Student Achievement Data” (with co-authors Thomas J. Kane, Eric S. Taylor, and Amy L. Wooten). Journal of Human Resources 46(3):587-613.