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).

What Matters Most for Teacher Policies (with Emiliana Vegas, Susanna Loeb, Pilar Romaguera, Nicole Goldstein, Alejandro Ganimian, Andrew Trembley, and Analia Jaimovich). 2013. SABER Working Paper Series. The World Bank. (pdf)

Political Economy of Education: A Framework and Some Hypotheses on the Feasibility of Reform (with Felipe Barrera-Osorio and Diego Jorrat). 2010. Background Paper for the World Bank Education Sector Strategy 2020. (pdf)

School Inspection, Evaluation, and Support Policies: A Guide for Policy Dialogue. 2010. The World Bank. (pdf)

Design of a New Institutional Arrangement for Education Quality Assurance: Lessons for Chile from International and Local Experiences (with Emiliana Vegas). 2010. The World Bank. (pdf)