student absenteeism; exclusionary discipline; educator’s labor market and effectiveness; school reform; health and education; higher education; causal inference; text as data.

Jing Liu is an Assistant Professor in Education Policy at the University of Maryland College Park. Named as a National Academy of Education Sciences/Spencer Dissertation Fellow, he earned his Ph.D. in Economics of Education from Stanford University in 2018. Before he joined UMD, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute. Dr. Liu's research uses rigorous quantitative evidence to evaluate and inform education policies at the national, state, and local levels, with the goal of improving learning opportunities for historically marginalized students in urban areas. His work broadly engages with critical policy issues including student absenteeism, exclusionary discipline, educator’s labor market, school reform, and higher education. Grounded in economic theory and policy analysis, he uses both quasi-experimental designs and data science methods such as computational linguistic analysis to analyze large administrative data and unstructured information. Most of his current projects focus on understanding the development of student engagement, behavior, and social emotional skills, how these skills and dispositions contribute to student success in the short and long run, and what the implications are for improving equal educational opportunities. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management,  and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Personal website:

  • 2019-2020   Emerging Education Policy Scholar by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the American Enterprise Institute
  • 2017-2018   National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship 
  • 2017-2018   Shultz Graduate Student Fellowship in Economic Policy, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research 
  • 2017-2018   Dissertation Support Grant, Stanford Graduate School of Education 
  • 2017-2018   Dissertation Grant, Stanford Freeman Spogli Institute
  • 2017-2018   Technology for Equity in Learning Opportunities Award, Stanford Graduate School of Education 
  • 2015-2016   The Karr Family Fellowship, Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis
  • 2013-2014   The I. James and Viola Quillen Fellowship, Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • 2011             Best Paper Award, Deloitte Tax Championship, China
  • 2011             Outstanding Graduate, Department of Public Finance, Peking University
  • 2011             Excellent Graduate Thesis, Department of Public Finance, Peking University

Liu, J.& Cohen, J. (Forthcoming), “Measuring Teaching Practices at Scale: A NovelApplication of Text-as-Data Methods”. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Liu, J., Loeb, S., Shi, Y. (Forthcoming), “More Than Shortages: The Unequal Distribution of Substitute Teaching”. Education Finance and Policy.

Demszky, D., Liu, J., Cohen, J., Hill, H., Mancenido, Z., Jurafsky, D., & Hashimoto,T. (2021), “Measuring Conversational Uptake: A Case Study on Student-Teacher Inter-actions”, Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for ComputationalLinguistics (ACL).

Liu, J., Lee, M., Gershenson, S. (2021), “The Short-and Long-Run Impacts of Secondary School Absences”. Journal of Public Economics, 199, 104441.

Liu, J. & Loeb, S. (2021), “Engaging Teachers: Measuring Teacher’s Impact on Student Attendance in Secondary School”. Journal of Human Resources, 56(2), 343-379. [LeadArticle].  

Sun, M., Liu, J., Zhu, JM., LeClair, Z. (2019), “Using a Text-as-Data Approach to Understand Reform Processes: A Deep Exploration of School Improvement Strategies”. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 41(4), 510-536. 

Penner, E., Rochmes, J., Liu, J., Solanki, S., Loeb, S. (2019), “Differing View of Equity: How Prospective Educators Perceive Their Role in Closing Achievement Gaps”. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of Social Sciences, 5(3), 103-127.

Bo, S., Liu, J., Shiu, J., Song, Y., Zhou, S. (2019), “Admission Mechanisms and Mismatches between Colleges and Students: Evidence from A Large Administrative Dataset from China”. Economics of Education Review, 68, 27-37.

Whitney, C. R. & Liu, J. (2017), “What We’re Missing: A Descriptive Analysis of Part-Day Absenteeism in Secondary School”, AERA Open, 3(2).

Bettinger, E., Liu, J., Loeb, S. (2016), “Connections Matter: How Interactive Peers Affect Students in Online College Courses”, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (Big Data Special Section), 35(4), 932-954.

TLPL 765: Quantitative Applications for Education Policy Analysis

TLPL 788X: Policy Analysis of the Education Workforce