The Non-Democratic Roots of Mass Education: Evidence from 200 Years. Forthcoming. American Political Science Review (pdf)


- APSA 2019 Best Comparative Policy Paper Award 

Public-Sector Unions and the Size of Government. 2019. American Journal of Political Science 63(1): 21-36. (pdf)


- APSA 2016 Dorothy Day Award for best labor politics paper

- APPAM 2013 exemplary research on the politics of policymaking

- Media coverage: Washington Post, The Economist, POLITICO, NBC News, ABC WJLA, Education WeekGoverning Magazine, Bloomberg

Understanding Human Resources in Broad-Access Higher Education (with Susanna Loeb and Eric Taylor). 2014. In Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education, edited by Mitchell Stevens and Michael Kirst. Stanford University Press.


The Early Childhood Care and Education Workforce from 1990 through 2010: Changing Dynamics and Persistent Concerns (with Daphna Bassok, Susanna Loeb, and Maria Fitzpatrick). 2013. Education Finance and Policy 8(4): 581-601.

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).