Carlos Xabel Lastra-Anadón

Carlos Lastra-Anadon is an Assistant Professor at IE University and the Director of Research at the Center for the Governance of Change. He 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, as well as health and education and environmental policies.

Part of 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), as well as public opinion, media, and interest groups. He has also recently focused on the particular challenges facing higher education and adult education.


• Assistant Professor, IE University, 2019 – Present

• Postdoctoral Research Associate, Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute, 2018 – 2019


• Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, PhD Candidate in Government and Social Policy. (on leave 2014 – 2015 as consultant), 2012 – 2018

• Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Master in Public Policy, focus on education policy, economic development and social entrepreneurship, 2009 – 2011

• University of Oxford, UK: MMathPhil in Mathematics and Philosophy (double major) 1st Class Honours degree, 2002 – 2006


• Gift, T., Lastra-Anadón, C. X. “Perceived Beneficiaries and Support for the Globalization of Higher Education: A Survey Experiment on Attitudes toward International Students”. Political Science Research and Methods.

• 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

Carlos Lastra-Anadon
Carlos Xabel
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