Assistant Professor

University of California, San Diego

Dept. of Political Science &

Global School of Policy and Strategy 

twitter: @aspaglayan

I study what motivates politicians to expand access to education and improve the quality and equity of education systems, in developing countries and developed countries (including the U.S.). I use original datasets spanning long periods of time to understand why some governments today provide more and/or better education than others. I draw on insights from comparative political economy, development economics, economics of education, political and economic history.


I received my PhD in political science from Stanford University, an MA in education policy (Stanford), a Master of Public Policy (Georgetown University) and Licenciatura en Economia (Universidad de San Andres, Argentina).

Historical Education Quality Database. With financial support from UCSD, the Stanford Center for International Development, the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, and The Europe Center at Stanford University, I am leading an effort to construct a database that enables us to compare the quality of education provision across countries and over time. The database will contain historical country-level measures of student learning and of the content of education policies relevant for how much learning takes place in schools (e.g., curriculum policies and teacher training and recruitment policies). In the initial stages, the database will span Latin American and European countries from 1870 to the present. The dataset will be made available to the public upon its completion.

If you would like to contribute your expert knowledge of a country to this initiative, please contact me via email:

Public-Sector Unions and the Size of Government. This dataset contains annual state-level data on student-teacher ratios, average teacher salaries, and per-pupil education expenditures, for all U.S. states during 1959-1990; decennial information on these variables since 1919; and information about the timing of state laws establishing mandatory collective bargaining with teachers. The database is available on AJPS Dataverse and should be cited as Paglayan, Agustina S. 2019. "Public-Sector Unions and the Size of Government." American Journal of Political Science 63(1): 21-36.