Ph.D., Stanford University

Maria (Cuky) Perez is an Assistant Professor of Public Affairs at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. Cuky completed her Ph.D. in the Economics of Education program at Stanford University in 2012. She received her professional degree in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, and a Master’s degree in Economics at Stanford University. She was selected as an Emerging Education Policy Scholar in 2014, and is the recipient of the Stanford Interdisciplinary Fellowship (SIGF) and the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. Her dissertation research concentrated on the theoretical and empirical effects of performance-based pay for teachers. Her first paper addressed how inequity aversion differ among prospective teachers and lawyers by conducting a controlled behavioral experiment. In the second paper, she investigated how measures of teacher and school value-added interact with and/or predict incentive scheme preferences. And in her third paper she developed a general equilibrium model of teacher performance-based pay to simulate the potential general effects of this policy. Before Stanford University, she worked at the American Institute for Research (AIR) where she gained extensive experience directing evaluation projects on a range of public policy issues, particularly those related with English language learners, low performing schools, and students with disabilities.

Professional Title: 
Assistant Professor
Economics of Education
Education Policy
Impact Evaluation
Policy Analysis
Recent Publications: 
  • Pérez, M., Socias, M. (2008). Highly Successful Schools: What Do They Do Differently and at What Cost? Education Finance and Policy, Volume 3 (1), pg 109–129.
Courses taught: 
  • PBAF 526: Program Evaluation
  • PBAF 573: Topics in Education and Social Policy
  • PBAF 529: Advanced Multivariate Analysis
Working Papers: 

Pérez, M., Bryk, A. Making Decisions About Teachers Based on Imperfect Data. (R&R)

Carrasco, R., Pérez, M. Predicting Teacher Value-Added Measures with Teachers’ Observable Classroom Practices and Pedagogical and Content Knowledge. (R&R)

Pérez, M. Inequity Aversion Differences: Experimental Evidence Among Prospective Teachers and Lawyers. (Under review)

Pérez, M., Kennedy, A. How Do Changes in the Language of Instruction and Classroom Composition Affect Language Minority Students? (Under review)

Pérez, M., Muraki, M. Given Me and My Colleagues a Bonus: Examining Teachers’ Attitudes toward Merit Pay. (R&R)

Kennedy, A., Pérez, M. Explaining California School Policy Adoption After the Passage of Proposition 227. (Under review). 


Professor Perez's office hours are available through this link