Alison Wolf is a British economist. She is Director of Public Services Policy and Management at King’s College, London where she holds the Sir Roy Griffiths chair.
Wolf studied at the Universities of Neuchatel and Oxford. Her early career was spent in the United States as a policy analyst for the government. She then worked many years at the Institute of Education of the University of London where she was guest professor. She is a member of the Advisory Committee for Education for the House of Commons of the UK and a member of the council of the United Nations University. She writes frequent articles in the British press and moderated a programme on BBC Radio 4. She is a member of the International Accounting Education Standards Board and has worked as a consultant for the European Commission, Bar Council, OECD, Royal College of Surgeons and the Ministries of Education of New Zealand, France and South Africa
Wolf studies the interface between educational institutions and labour markets. She also has a research interest in performance studies, maths education, training, tertiary education and employment in the health sector.
In her book, Does Education Matter? Myths about Education and Economic Growth, she questioned the widespread view that higher public expenditure on education would increase economic growth. Instead, the causality ran in the opposite direction. For the individual, the crucial skills in the labour market are primarily the mathematical and linguistic skills that are taught in school. She therefore recommends investment in primary and secondary education rather than the tertiary level.
Publications: Improving skills at work (with Evans, K.), Routledge, 2010; An Adult Approach to Further Education: How to Reverse the Destruction of Adult and Vocational Education. Institute of Economic Affairs, 2009;Does Education Matter?: Myths About Education and Economic Growth, Penguin, 2002; Convergence and Divergence in European Education and Training Systems (with Green, A. and Leney, T.), Institute of Education, 1999.