Sofoklis Goulas

Economist

Sofoklis Goulas

Economist

About Me

Sofoklis Goulas is a fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and the Hamilton Project. Prior to joining Brookings, he was a senior researcher at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Sofoklis has also worked as a researcher or consultant at the Center for Community Capital at the University of North Carolina, the Bank of Greece, and the World Bank.

Expertise
Applied Microeconomics
Causal Inference
Human Capital
Public Policy
Experience

Student testimonials

Vitae
EMPLOYMENT & AFFILIATIONS
Fellow
02/2023
Fellow
The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC

The Hamilton Project, Economic Studies.

Co-Founder
07/2021
Co-Founder
Aletheia Research Institution, Palo Alto, CA

Board Member & Director of Public Policy Programs.

Senior Research Associate
04/2017-01/2023
Senior Research Associate
Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), Hoover Institution

Impact Evaluation Consultant
03/2022-12/2022
Impact Evaluation Consultant
The World Bank, Washington, DC
Research Design Consultant
07/2022-05/2023
Research Design Consultant
100Mentors, Ed Tech Company, Athens, Greece
Visiting Scholar
04/2024-04/2024
Visiting Scholar
Monash Business School

Department of Economics

Visiting Scholar
03/2022-06/2022
Visiting Scholar
University of Essex, Colchester, UK

Institute for Economics and Social Research

Consultant on Business Analytics and Strategy
07/2017-05/2019
Consultant on Business Analytics and Strategy
Lumsden and Partners, M&A Law Firm, Vienna, Austria
Graduate Research Assistant
08/2013-05/2015
Graduate Research Assistant
UNC-Chapel Hill

Center for Community Capital

Visiting Researcher
05/2012-07/2012
Visiting Researcher
Bank of Greece

Economic Research Division

Fellow
01/2018
Fellow
Global Labor Organization
Education
Ph.D. in Economics <font color="#808080"></font>
2011-2017
Ph.D. in Economics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC Highest Impact Graduate Research Award; Omicron Delta Epsilon

MS in Economics


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2011-2013
MS in Economics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
MSc in Finance and Economics </br> <font color="#808080"></font>
2010-2011
MSc in Finance and Economics
Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
Ptychion in Economics</br><font color="#808080"> </font>
2006-2010
Ptychion in Economics
University of Piraeus

Class Valedictorian

Research

March 2024 Ten economic facts about rental housing

Co Authors : Lauren Bauer, Eloise Burtis, Wendy Edelberg, Noadia Steinmetz-Silber, Sarah Yu Wang
Outlet : Brookings Institution
Link : https://www.hamiltonproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/20240321_THP_HousingFacts.pdf
July 2023 Compulsory Class Attendance versus Autonomy

Co Authors : Silvia Griselda, Rigissa Megalokonomou
Outlet : Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, ABS: 3*, (2023)
Featured in :

VoxEU.org, The Conversation


Link : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016726812300224X
May 2023 The Impact of COVID-19 on Plastic Surgery Residents Across the World: A Country-, Region-, and Income-level Analysis

Co Authors : Georgios Karamitros, Maria Wiedner, Vakis Kontoes
Outlet : Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, IF: 2.709, (2023)
Award : Best Paper Award, International Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Annual Meeting 2023
Link : https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00266-023-03389-w
April 2023 Women Representation in Plastic Surgery Across the Globe: A Cross-Sectional Study of Human Capital and Research Output Using Artificial Intelligence

Co Authors : Georgios Karamitros
Outlet : Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, IF: 4.0, (2023)
Award : Best Poster Award, International Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Annual Meeting 2023
Link : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37130445/
June 2022 Comparative Advantage and Gender Gap in STEM

Co Authors : Silvia Griselda, Rigissa Megalokonomou
Outlet : Journal of Human Resources, ABS: 3*, (2022): 0320-10781
Award : Best Paper Award, 32nd PhD Conference in Economics and Business, Australian National University, 2019 Best Paper Award, Australian Gender Economics Workshop, 2020 Best Paper Award, UniCredit & Universities, Gender Economics, 2020
Featured in :

The Conversation


Link : https://jhr.uwpress.org/content/early/2022/06/01/jhr.0320-10781R2.abstract
August 2021 Alabama Broadband for Education

Co Authors : Chunping Han, Margaret E. Raymond
Outlet : Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Link : https://www.hoover.org/sites/default/files/research/docs/alabama_webreadypdf_rev.pdf
January 2021 Knowing who you actually are: The effect of Feedback on Short- and Longer-Term Outcomes

Co Authors : Rigissa Megalokonomou
Outlet : Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, ABS: 3*, (2021)
Award : Best Paper Award, UniCredit & Universities, 2016 Belgrade Young Economist Conference
Link : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016726812100024X
October 2020 School Quality Management Report for 2018-19

Co Authors : Won Fy Lee
Outlet : Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University
August 2020 COVID-19 Simulation: Predicting Student 2019-20 Achievement

Co Authors : Chunping Han, Charla Waeiss, Won Fy Lee, Margaret E. Raymond
Outlet : Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University
Featured in :

The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, Forbes, EducationNC, LA School Report


Link : https://credo.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/covid_sim_meta_analysis_final_v.3.pdf
May 2020 School Attendance during a Pandemic

Co Authors : Rigissa Megalokonomou
Outlet : Economics Letters, ABS: 3*, (2020)
Featured in :

VoxEU.org


Link : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165176520301853
January 2020 Marathon, Hurdling or Sprint? The Effects of Exam Scheduling on Academic Performance

Co Authors : Rigissa Megalokonomou
Outlet : The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, ABS: 2*, (2020)
Featured in :

VoxEU.org


Link : https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/bejeap-2019-0177/html
July 2019 School Quality Management Report for 2017-18

Co Authors : Chunping Han, Payton Richardson
Outlet : Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University
December 2017 Which degrees do students prefer during recessions?

Co Authors : Rigissa Megalokonomou
Outlet : Empirical Economics, ABS: 2*, (2019)
Featured in :

The Conversation, Kathimerini, Capital.gr, LSE EUROPP


Link : https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00181-018-1418-7
December 2017 The Impact of Scaling the New Orleans Restart Model on Student Performance

Co Authors : Margaret E. Raymond, Lauren Bierbaum, Lindsay Bell, Meghan Cotter Mazzola, Will Snow
Outlet : Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University
Featured in :

Forbes


Link : https://nolai3eval.stanford.edu/
February 2017 School Quality Management Report for 2015-16

Co Authors : Payton Richardson, Lynn Woodworth
Outlet : Center for Research on Education Outcomes, Stanford University
May 2015 Do Low-income Homeowners Maintain Their Homes?

Co Authors : Sarah Riley
Outlet : Center for Community Capital, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Award : Winner of the 2015 UNC Impact Award for Outstanding Graduate Research

Data Collection

New Data on Education:

Since 2011, my colleague Rigissa Megalokonomou and I have combined forces in collecting new and original data on education in Greece. We have spent a lot of time and effort visiting schools, conducting interviews, and collecting novel data. So far we have created two novel and unique datasets:

(1) Data on university entrance exam scores, university admission and college major

We have collected cross-sectional data on university entrance exam performance, university of admission, self-reported college major preferences and actual college major for the universe of high school graduates in Greece between 2003 and 2011.

(2) School transcript data on demographics, school performance, class attendance and class composition.

Our data follows a randomly selected sample of high school students in Greece over the last three grades of secondary education. Our data span ten cohorts between 2001 and 2011 and almost 150 schools. We have visited schools in large cities as well as in isolated islands and we are happy to have gotten our hands dirty in the collection of primary data.

Randomized Control Trial to study Peer Effects

I dive deeper into the mechanisms behind the peer effects I identify in hand-collected administrative data using survey-based randomized control trials (RCT) in five schools in Greece. These randomized trials allow me to study the behavioral impact of peers who serve as role models.

Randomized Control Triad to study Teacher Biases

In collaboration with Rigissa Megalokonomou (Monash) and Panos Sotirakopoulos (Curtin), we designed and disseminated an online randomized controlled trial (RCT) to teachers across Greece. This RCT provides us with exogenous variation to analyze the impacts of teachers’ perceptions towards excelling students of different genders and in different areas of study (STEM and non-STEM) and their potential implications on students’perceived performance in STEM subjects and aspirations towards STEM careers. These gendered perceptions may have important implications on students’ performance in high stakes examinations, effort, motivation, and aspirations to pursue a STEM degree and career. Expected outcomes include a new understanding of the contribution of teacher attitudes to gender differences in STEM, which can inform government policy, and teacher training and practice, facilitating more equal representation of females in STEM study and workforce.

Participation:
  • Panelist discussing the economics of the American dream, Cecil College, March 2024
  • Mentoring Session with the PADE (Promoting Achievement and Diversity in Economics) initiative of the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland, Brookings Institution, March 2024
  •  Research Reception with the Sadie Collective, Brookings Institution, February 2024
  •  Research Reception with the MARCH (Morehouse Advocacy Reaching Capitol Hill) program of the Morehouse College, Brookings Institution, November 2023

The public school enrollment conundrum

Marketplace

April 1, 2024

Why school absences have ‘exploded’ almost everywhere

The New York Times

March 29, 2024

In the four years since the pandemic closed schools, U.S. education has struggled to recover on a number of fronts, from learning loss, to enrollment, to student behavior.

Kingsford Heights residents rally against closure of school

The Times of Northern Indiana

March 14, 2024

In an October paper, Brookings researchers found that over a four-year period that includes the pandemic, about 12% of elementary schools and 9% of middle schools lost at least one-fifth of their enrollment. At The 74’s request, they expanded that data to include all 4,428 schools in the country that reached or exceeded a 20% decline.

The results were sobering: “Enrollment declines are everywhere,” said Sofoklis Goulas, a fellow at Brookings.

Lake Central schools preview future redistricting

The Times of Northwest Indiana

March 5, 2024

“In an October paper, Brookings researchers found that over a four-year period that includes the pandemic, about 12% of elementary schools and 9% of middle schools lost at least one-fifth of their enrollment. At The 74’s request, they expanded that data to include all 4,428 schools in the country that reached or exceeded a 20% decline. The results were sobering: ‘Enrollment declines are everywhere,’ said Sofoklis Goulas, a fellow at Brookings.”

Get ready for ‘the bloodletting.’ School districts are in for a rocky budget season

Fort Worth Star Telegram and Yahoo! News, by Silas Allen

March 4, 2024

“In a paper published last October, researchers at the Brookings Institution noted a sharp uptick in the number of students who have left traditional school districts for private schools, homeschooling or some other non-public option since 2019.”

 

Facing a $42 million budget gap, Wichita will close some schools at the end of this school year”

KMUW, by Suzanne Perez

January 23, 2024

“Data prepared by researchers at the Brookings Institution shows that over a four-year period that includes the pandemic, about 12% of the nation’s public elementary schools and 9% of middle schools lost at least one-fifth of their enrollment.”

Thousands of schools risk closure due to ‘massive’ enrollment loss: new report

Fox News, by Joshua Nelson

January 18, 2024

“A new report shows that thousands of school districts risk closure due to ‘massive’ enrollment loss. The warning stems from an analysis of national enrollment data by the Brookings Institution and some reporting from The 74. Their analysis came after Brookings researchers found a decline in elementary and middle school enrollment, a one-fifth loss of their enrollment. ‘Enrollment declines are everywhere,’ Brookings Institution fellow Sofoklis Goulas said.

Charter schools continue to grow across the Tampa Bay area

WUSF, by Nancy Guan

January 17, 2024

Sofoklis Goulas, an economics and education researcher with the Brookings Institution, said the COVID-19 pandemic impacted where families choose to send their kids to school now. Goulas said we need better data about where students are going to school. He added that even with reports from public schools, private schools and available home schooling data, there are children not accounted for. ‘We need to monitor student flows between different types of schools. This is very important so we can understand what families want,’ said Goulas.”

“Exclusive Data: Thousands of schools at risk of closing due to enrollment loss”

The 74 Million, by Linda Jacobson

January 9, 2024

Sofoklis Goulas, an economics and education researcher with the Brookings Institution, said the COVID-19 pandemic impacted where families choose to send their kids to school now. Goulas said we need better data about where students are going to school. He added that even with reports from public schools, private schools and available home schooling data, there are children not accounted for. ‘We need to monitor student flows between different types of schools. This is very important so we can understand what families want,’ said Goulas.”

“Exclusive Data: Thousands of schools at risk of closing due to enrollment loss”

The 74 Million, by Linda Jacobson

January 9, 2024

“In an October paper, Brookings researchers found that over a four-year period that includes the pandemic, about 12% of elementary schools and 9% of middle schools lost at least one-fifth of their enrollment. At The 74’s request, they expanded that data to include all 4,428 schools in the country that reached or exceeded a 20% decline. The results were sobering: ‘Enrollment declines are everywhere,’ said Sofoklis Goulas, a fellow at Brookings.”

“Chandler Unified losing more students than it expected”

12News, by Kevin Reagan and Colleen Sikora

January 9, 2024

“Researchers like Dr. Sofoklis Goulas of the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project said that enrollment declines on a national level go far beyond than just lower birth rates. ‘We see that the share of gains in public schools has declined from 84.2% in 2015-16, to 78.8% in 2021-22,’ Goulas said. ‘So we have an increase in the share of kids who are either in private schools or in common education or in other school arrangements.’”

“Report details severity of declining enrollment since before pandemic”

EdSource, by Karen D’Souza

January 10, 2024

“In an October report, Brookings researchers found that over four years including the pandemic, about 12% of elementary schools and 9% of middle schools lost at least one-fifth of their enrollment.  ‘Enrollment declines are everywhere,’ said Sofoklis Goulas, a fellow at Brookings, as The 74 reported.”

“Student learning took a hit during the pandemic and the career mobility implications are enormous”

Working Nation, by Laura Aka

December 21, 2023

“There are likely numerous reasons for the drops in scores, according to Sofoklis Goulas, Ph.D., fellow with Brookings. ‘It is most likely a composite effect. We can suspect that it is related to distancing from traditional instructional approaches because school systems knew how to educate students in the classroom and, all of a sudden, they had to change that approach and find a new way to deliver instruction. And this disruption might have negatively impacted some students.’”

“How the child care cliff could yank back the labor market” 

POLITICO Morning Money, by Eleanor Mueller and Sam Sutton 

August 21, 2023 

“The savings American consumers accumulated during the pandemic have started to dwindle. And as households grow more reliant on regular paychecks to support spending, consumers are at a crossroads ‘as they consider how to alter their spending and whether to go deeper into debt,’ Wendy Edelberg and Sofoklis Goulas of the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project told Bloomberg’s Rich Miller.” 

“US consumers near day of reckoning as pandemic cash stash shrinks” 

Bloomberg, by Rich Miller 

August 19, 2023 

“So far at least, such signs of distress are not cause for alarm, according to Edelberg and Goulas of Brookings. But if financially strapped households rack up more debt, that would be more of a concern, they said in a report this month. ‘We are a bit worried about households if they continue spending as much as they are right now relative to their income,’ Goulas said in an interview. ‘But with the economy doing well overall in terms of job growth, it’s unclear whether we will see a recession.’” 

“What no landing looks like to a Treasury bond investor” 

Bloomberg, Edward Harrison 

August 8, 2023 

“Quote of the week: ‘If households were to sustain their current spending trends and increasingly finance spending with borrowing, financial health could deteriorate in a worrying way’ — Wendy Edelberg and Sofoklis Goulas, Hamilton Project” 

“Americans spending set to slow as income dips below 2019 trend” 

Bloomberg, by Alexandre Tanzi and Michael Sasso  

August 2, 2023 

“Real income growth has slowed to levels below the pre-pandemic trend, according to the report published Tuesday by Wendy Edelberg, director of the Hamilton Project, and Sofoklis Goulas, a fellow at the Brookings-led think tank.” 

The Terrible Truth: Current Solutions to COVID Learning Loss Are Doomed to Fail”, The74 Million, April 2023


Student autonomy and academic performance”, VoxEU, August 2021

Being able to skip classes improves some students’ performance. Others struggle with more autonomy”, The Conversation, August 2021

Charters are among Idaho’s highest — and lowest — performing schools”, Devin Dodkin, Idaho Ed News, August 2021

Resetting work and learning after COVID-19”, Ed NC, May 2021

Learning Loss Is Just Educational Halitosis”, Peter Greene, Forbes, March 2021

The Long-Term Economic Costs of Lost Schooling”, Jon Hilsenrath, The Wall Street Journal, February 2021

Learning loss in California: New analysis digs into how students — particularly English learners — are falling behind during the pandemic”, LA School Report, February 2021

Vaccine reward – a potential way out of the pandemic”, DerStandard, January 2021

Students face learning loss as coronavirus disrupts school year”, CBS News, December 2020

School Attendance During a Pandemic”, VoxEU, August 2020

Students in Washington’s charter schools and public schools learn at similar rates, Stanford report finds”, The Seattle Times, August 2020

Sex, Drugs and Economics: More on comparative advantage and the gender gap in STEM”, Professor Michael Cameron’s Blog, June 2020

Girls score the same in math and science as boys, but higher in arts – this may be why they are less likely to pick STEM careers”, The Conversation, June 2020

The effects of exam scheduling on academic performance”, VoxEU, January 2020

Statehouse roundup, 1.31.19: Study illustrates highs and lows in charter performance”, Kevin Richert, Idaho Ed News, January 2019

Promising’ learning results for state charter schools, study shows, but Tacoma lagging”, Allison Needles, Tacoma News Tribune, January 2019

Ed Reformers Rejoice: New CREDO Report Shows Student Progress in New Orleans Has Continued”, Emily Langhorne, Forbes, May 2019

Gender peer effects and performance in STEM”, ESOS.gr (in Greek), May 2019

Albert Camus, the Plague, and the Crisis in Greece (in Greek)”, LiFO (in Greek), September 2015

Job prospects drive college major preferences amidst Crisis”, Kathimerini Daily Newspaper (in Greek), August 2015

The crisis changed (students’) preferences” , Ethnos Daily Newspaper  (in Greek), August 2015

How young Greeks changed their degree choices as the economy crashed”, The Conversation, August 2015

Financial Crisis and Study Choice (in Greek)”, Capital.gr (in Greek), August 2015

Get in Touch
  • Email: sofoklis.goulas[at]gmail[dot]com
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