Prashant Loyalka is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. His research focuses on examining/addressing inequalities in the education of children and youth and on understanding/improving the quality of education received by children and youth in multiple countries including China, India, Russia, and the United States. He also conducts large-scale evaluations of educational programs and policies that seek to improve student outcomes.
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education
Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Ph.D., Stanford University, International Comparative Education (2009)
M.A., Stanford University, Economics (2008)
B.A., Stanford University, Economics (1997)
Assessment, Testing and Measurement
Diversity and Identity
Immigrants and Immigration
International and Comparative Education
Poverty and Inequality
Teachers and Teaching
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Prashant's research focuses on examining/addressing inequalities in the education of youth and on understanding/improving the quality of education received by youth in a number of countries including China, India, Russia, and the United States. In the course of addressing educational inequalities, Prashant examines the consequences of tracking, financial and informational constraints, as well as social and psychological factors in highly competitive education systems. His work on understanding educational quality is built around research that assesses and compares student learning in higher education, high school and compulsory schooling. He furthermore conducts large-scale evaluations of educational programs and policies that seek to improve student outcomes.
- Economics of Education in the Global Economy
EDUC 306A (Aut)
- Resource Allocation in Education
EDUC 222 (Spr)
- Independent Studies (5)
- Prior Year Courses
- Manufacturing Productivity with Worker Turnover MANAGEMENT SCIENCE 2022
- The Hidden Cost of Worker Turnover: Attributing Product Reliability to the Turnover of Factory Workers MANAGEMENT SCIENCE 2022; 68 (5): 3755-3767
- The Effect of Faculty Research on Student Learning in College EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER 2022
Skill levels and gains in university STEM education in China, India, Russia and the United States.
Nature human behaviour
Universities contribute to economic growth and national competitiveness by equipping students with higher-order thinking and academic skills. Despite large investments in university science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, little is known about how the skills of STEM undergraduates compare across countries and by institutional selectivity. Here, we provide direct evidence on these issues by collecting and analysing longitudinal data on tens of thousands of computer science and electrical engineering students in China, India, Russia and the United States. We find stark differences in skill levels and gains among countries and by institutional selectivity. Compared with the United States, students in China, India and Russia do not gain critical thinking skills over four years. Furthermore, while students in India and Russia gain academic skills during the first two years, students in China do not. These gaps in skill levels and gains provide insights into the global competitiveness of STEM university students across nations and institutional types.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41562-021-01062-3
View details for PubMedID 33649462
Instructional interventions for improving COVID-19 knowledge, attitudes, behaviors: Evidence from a large-scale RCT in India.
Social science & medicine (1982)
2021; 276: 113846
Seeking ways to encourage broad compliance with health guidelines during the pandemic, especially among youth, we test two hypotheses pertaining to the optimal design of instructional interventions for improving COVID-19-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. We randomly assigned 8376 lower-middle income youth in urban India to three treatments: a concentrated and targeted fact-based, instructional intervention; a longer instructional intervention that provided the same facts along with underlying scientific concepts; and a control. Relative to existing efforts, we find that both instructional interventions increased COVID-19-related knowledge immediately after intervention. Relative to the shorter fact-based intervention, the longer intervention resulted in sustained improvements in knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported behavior. Instead of reducing attention and comprehension by youth, the longer scientific based treatment appears to have increased understanding and retention of the material. The findings are instrumental to understanding the design of instruction and communication in affecting compliance during this and future pandemics.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.113846
View details for PubMedID 33773476
- Stuck in Place? A Field Experiment on the Effects of Reputational Information on Student Evaluations SOCIAL FORCES 2020; 98 (4): 1578–1612
Schooling and Covid-19: lessons from recent research on EdTech.
NPJ science of learning
2020; 5: 13
The wide-scale global movement of school education to remote instruction due to Covid-19 is unprecedented. The use of educational technology (EdTech) offers an alternative to in-person learning and reinforces social distancing, but there is limited evidence on whether and how EdTech affects academic outcomes. Recently, we conducted two large-scale randomized experiments, involving ~10,000 primary school students in China and Russia, to evaluate the effectiveness of EdTech as a substitute for traditional schooling. In China, we examined whether EdTech improves academic outcomes relative to paper-and-pencil workbook exercises of identical content. We found that EdTech was a perfect substitute for traditional learning. In Russia, we further explored how much EdTech can substitute for traditional learning. We found that EdTech substitutes only to a limited extent. The findings from these large-scale trials indicate that we need to be careful about using EdTech as a full-scale substitute for the traditional instruction received by schoolchildren.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41539-020-00072-6
View details for PubMedID 32821427
- Institutions, implementation, and program effectiveness: Evidence from a randomized evaluation of computer-assisted learning in rural China Journal of Development Economics 2020; 146
- Does Teacher Training Actually Work? Evidence from a Large-Scale Randomized Evaluation of a National Teacher Training Program AMERICAN ECONOMIC JOURNAL-APPLIED ECONOMICS 2019; 11 (3): 128–54
- Pay by Design: Teacher Performance Pay Design and the Distribution of Student Achievement JOURNAL OF LABOR ECONOMICS 2019; 37 (3): 621–62
- Computer science skills across China, India, Russia, and the United States PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 2019; 116 (14): 6732–36
- Human Capital and China's Future Growth JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVES 2017; 31 (1): 25-48
- Can Social-Emotional Learning Reduce School Dropout in Developing Countries? JOURNAL OF POLICY ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT 2016; 35 (4): 818-?
- Revisiting the Relationship Between International Assessment Outcomes and Educational Production: Evidence From a Longitudinal PISA-TIMSS Sample AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL 2016; 53 (4): 1054-1085
China's Left-Behind Children: Impact Of Parental Migration On Health, Nutrition, And Educational Outcomes.
2015; 34 (11): 1964-1971
China's rapid development and urbanization have induced large numbers of rural residents to migrate from their homes to urban areas in search of better job opportunities. Parents typically leave their children behind with a caregiver, creating a new, potentially vulnerable subpopulation of left-behind children in rural areas. A growing number of policies and nongovernmental organization efforts target these children. The primary objective of this study was to examine whether left-behind children are really the most vulnerable and in need of special programs. Pulling data from a comprehensive data set covering 141,000 children in ten provinces (from twenty-seven surveys conducted between 2009 and 2013), we analyzed nine indicators of health, nutrition, and education. We found that for all nine indicators, left-behind children performed as well as or better than children living with both parents. However, both groups of children performed poorly on most of these indicators. Based on these findings, we recommend that special programs designed to improve health, nutrition, and education among left-behind children be expanded to cover all children in rural China.
View details for DOI 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0150
View details for PubMedID 26526256
- Giving kids a head start: The impact and mechanisms of early commitment of financial aid on poor students in rural China JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS 2015; 113: 1-15
The Cost of Disability in China
2014; 51 (1): 97-118
We describe the degree to which household income is negatively associated with the prevalence of different types of disability (i.e., medical impairments) in China using data from the 2006 Second National Survey of Disabled Persons. We then calculate the extra costs of disability across different types of households and show how these costs differ by the type and severity of disability in both urban and rural areas. Finally, we use nationally representative panel data on persons with disabilities from 2007 to 2009 to examine the degree to which social security is reaching persons with different types and severity of disabilities in both urban and rural areas. We conclude that although the amount and coverage of social security for households with disabilities is increasing rapidly, it is still not enough to offset the income differential between households with and without disabled persons, especially when we account for the extra costs of disability.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s13524-013-0272-7
View details for Web of Science ID 000330990200006
- University Expansion in a Changing Global Economy: Triumph of the BRICs? Stanford University Press. 2013
- Stuck in the middle school rut: can anything improve academic achievement in rural Chinese middle schools? JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVENESS 2022
- Off the COVID-19 Epicentre: The Impact of Quarantine Controls on Employment, Education and Health in China's Rural Communities CHINA QUARTERLY 2022
- Health, economic, and social implications of COVID-19 for China's rural population AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS 2021
Health, economic, and social implications of COVID-19 for China's rural population.
Agricultural economics (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
2021; 52 (3): 495-504
This study examines the effects of local and nationwide COVID-19 disease control measures on the health and economy of China's rural population. We conducted phone surveys with 726 randomly selected village informants across seven rural Chinese provinces in February 2020. Four villages (0.55%) reported infections, and none reported deaths. Disease control measures had been universally implemented in all sample villages. About 74% of informants reported that villagers with wage-earning jobs outside the village had stopped working due to workplace closures. A higher percentage of rural individuals could not work due to transportation, housing, and other constraints. Local governments had taken measures to reduce the impact of COVID-19. Although schools in all surveyed villages were closed, 71% of village informants reported that students were attending classes online. Overall, measures to control COVID-19 appear to have been successful in limiting disease transmission in rural communities outside the main epidemic area. Rural Chinese citizens, however, have experienced significant economic consequences from the disease control measures.
View details for DOI 10.1111/agec.12630
View details for PubMedID 34149132
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8207079
Tracking the effects of COVID-19 in rural China over time.
International journal for equity in health
2021; 20 (1): 35
China issued strict nationwide guidelines to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in January 2020 and gradually loosened the restrictions on movement in early March. Little is known about how these disease control measures affected the 600 million people who live in rural China. The goal of this paper is to document the quarantine measures implemented in rural China outside the epicenter of Hubei Province and to assess the socioeconomic effect of the measures on rural communities over time.We conducted three rounds of interviews with informants from 726 villages in seven provinces, accounting for over 25% of China's overall rural population. The survey collected data on rural quarantine implementation; COVID-19 infections and deaths in the survey villages; and effects of the quarantine on employment, income, education, health care, and government policies to address any negative impacts. The empirical findings of the work established that strict quarantine measures were implemented in rural villages throughout China in February.There was little spread of COVID-19 in rural communities: an infection rate of 0.001% and zero deaths reported in our sample. However, there were negative social and economic outcomes, including high rates of unemployment, falling household income, rising prices, and disrupted student learning. Health care was generally accessible, but many delayed their non-COVID-19 health care due to the quarantine measures. Only 20% of villagers received any form of local government aid, and only 11% of villages received financial subsidies. There were no reports of national government aid programs that targeted rural villagers in the sample areas.By examining the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 restrictions in rural communities, this study will help to guide other middle- and low-income countries in their containment and restorative processes. Without consideration for economically vulnerable populations, economic hardships and poverty will likely continue to have a negative impact on the most susceptible communities.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s12939-020-01369-z
View details for PubMedID 33446205
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7807215
- The Impacts of Highly Resourced Vocational Schools on Student Outcomes in China CHINA & WORLD ECONOMY 2020; 28 (6): 125–50
- Examining mode effects for an adapted Chinese critical thinking assessment ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION 2020
- Large-scale international assessments of learning outcomes: balancing the interests of multiple stakeholders JOURNAL OF HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY AND MANAGEMENT 2020
- The impact of pay-for-percentile incentive on low-achieving students in rural China ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW 2020; 75
- The prevalence of parent-teacher interaction in developing countries and its effect on student outcomes TEACHING AND TEACHER EDUCATION 2019; 86
- Thinking critically about critical thinking: validating the Russian HEIghten? critical thinking assessment STUDIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION 2019
- The impact of teacher professional development programs on student achievement in rural China: evidence from Shaanxi Province JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVENESS 2019
- The role of faculty in reducing academic dishonesty among engineering students STUDIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION 2019
- Parental migration, educational achievement, and mental health of junior high school students in rural China CHINA ECONOMIC REVIEW 2019; 54: 337–49
- Catching the Big Fish in the Little Pond Effect: Evidence from 33 Countries and Regions COMPARATIVE EDUCATION REVIEW 2018; 62 (4): 542–64
Assessing the Quality of Upper-Secondary Vocational Education and Training: Evidence from China
COMPARATIVE EDUCATION REVIEW
2018; 62 (2): 199–230
View details for Web of Science ID 000430151000003
- Validating the Use of Translated and Adapted HEIghten (R) Quantitative Literacy Test in Russia ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING OUTCOMES IN HIGHER EDUCATION: CROSS-NATIONAL COMPARISONS AND PERSPECTIVES 2018: 267–84
- Ability tracking and social trust in China's rural secondary school system SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS AND SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT 2018; 29 (4): 545–72
- Assessing college critical thinking: preliminary results from the Chinese HEIghten (R) Critical Thinking assessment HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT 2018; 37 (5): 999–1014
- The impact of conditional cash transfers on the matriculation of junior high school students into rural China's high schools JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVENESS 2017; 9 (1): 41-60
- Inequalities in the Pathway to College in China: When Do Students from Poor Areas Fall Behind? CHINA QUARTERLY 2017; 229: 172-194
- Sidestepping the Elephant in the Classroom: Using Culturally Localized Technology to Teach Around Taboos ASSOC COMPUTING MACHINERY. 2017: 2792–2804
- China's Looming Human Capital Crisis: Upper Secondary Educational Attainment Rates and the Middle-income Trap CHINA QUARTERLY 2016; 228: 905-926
- Does shadow education help students prepare for college? Evidence from Russia INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 2016; 49: 22-30
The Impact of Vocational Teachers on Student Learning in Developing Countries: Does Enterprise Experience Matter?
COMPARATIVE EDUCATION REVIEW
2016; 60 (1): 131-150
View details for Web of Science ID 000369717700006
- Developing instruments to assess and compare the quality of engineering education: the case of China and Russia ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION 2016; 41 (5): 770-786
- The Impact of Vocational Schooling on Human Capital Development in Developing Countries: Evidence from China WORLD BANK ECONOMIC REVIEW 2016; 30 (1): 143-170
- Dropping Out of Rural China's Secondary Schools: A Mixed-methods Analysis CHINA QUARTERLY 2015; 224: 1048-1069
- The impact of teacher credentials on student achievement in China CHINA ECONOMIC REVIEW 2015; 36: 14-24
- Exploring the dropout rates and causes of dropout in upper-secondary technical and vocational education and training (TVET) schools in China INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 2015; 42: 115-123
- Unequal Access to College in China: How Far Have Poor, Rural Students Been Left Behind? CHINA QUARTERLY 2015; 221: 185-207
- The Impacts of Building Elite High Schools for Students from Disadvantaged Areas ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND CULTURAL CHANGE 2015; 63 (2): 393-422
- Factors affecting the quality of engineering education in the four largest emerging economies HIGHER EDUCATION 2014; 68 (6): 977-1004
- Response to the Commentary "Reassessing Disparity in Access to Higher Education in Contemporary China" CHINA QUARTERLY 2014; 220: 1131-1135
- The concept of public goods, the state, and higher education finance: a view from the BRICs HIGHER EDUCATION 2014; 68 (3): 359-378
- Which teaching practices improve student performance on high-stakes exams? Evidence from Russia INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 2014; 36: 13-21
- Can information and counseling help students from poor rural areas go to high school? Evidence from China JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE ECONOMICS 2013; 41 (4): 1012-1025
- Information, college decisions and financial aid: Evidence from a cluster-randomized controlled trial in China ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION REVIEW 2013; 36: 26-40
- University Expansion in the BRIC Countries and the Global Information Economy Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 2013: 36-43
- The distribution of financial aid in China: Is aid reaching poor students? CHINA ECONOMIC REVIEW 2012; 23 (4): 898-917
The effects of attending selective college tiers in China
SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH
2012; 41 (2): 287-305
We estimate the effects of attending the first versus second-tier of higher education institutions on Chinese students' at-college and expected post-college outcomes using various quasi-experimental methods such as regression discontinuity, genetic matching, and regression discontinuity controlling for covariates. Overall we find that just attending the first versus second-tier makes little difference in terms of students' class ranking, net tuition, expected wages, or likelihood of applying for graduate school. The results do show, however, that just attending the first versus second tier makes it less likely that students will get their preferred major choice.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2011.11.015
View details for Web of Science ID 000300523400007
View details for PubMedID 23017752
- The effect of primary school mergers on academic performance of students in rural China INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 2010; 30 (6): 570-585