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Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón


Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón


Assistant Professor of Political Economy


Political Science


Research Faculty

Carlos Lastra-Anadon is an Assisstant Professor at IE School of Global and Public Affiars and the Director of Research at the Center for the Governance of Change. He recently completed his PhD in Government and Social Policy at Harvard University and was a postdoctoral research fellow at The Europe Center at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford 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.

Latest Publications

• Finger, L.K., Lastra-Anadón, C. X. (2020). “Advocates for hire: How government contracting shapes politics. Governance

• Emmerich, D., Gift, T., Lastra-Anadón, C. X. (2020). “How global performance assessments shape attitudes toward government decision‐making: Survey experimental evidence”. Governance, Vol. 34 (2): 413-433

• Cordeiro Guerra, S., Lastra-Anadón, C. X. (2019). “The quality-access tradeoff in decentralizing public services: Evidence from education in the OECD and Spain”. Journal of Comparative Economics, Vol. 47 (2): 295-316

• Gift, T., Lastra-Anadón, C. X. (2018). “How voters assess elite-educated politicians: A survey experiment”. Electoral Studies, Vol. 56: 136-149