An economic realist
Dividing his time between Cornell in upstate New York and Brookings in Washington, Prasad has many students, both PhD candidates and undergraduates, from China.
Some of his PhD students have graduated to join the World Bank, teach at the University of California and work at Wall Street firms.
He credited his Chinese undergraduate research assistants as "instrumental" for the chapter on China's monetary history in his book Gaining Currency.
"It was a couple of my Chinese undergraduate students who actually dug up a lot of these really fascinating archival materials that allowed me to write that chapter," he said.
During his book tour late last year, including the one on Sept 23 at the Brookings with former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke sitting next to him, Prasad started his presentation by intoxicating the audience with monetary history anecdotes under Kublai Khan of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and other emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Prasad said he had traveled too much on business and had no time for tourism during those trips in China because his wife and two young daughters were living in Washington.
"But now that my daughters are grown, I hope to take my family to China to explore China in a way that I haven't done so far," said Prasad, father of two daughters, ages 9 and 14.
The western and interior provinces and rural China that he hasn't seen much are on his priority list.
"That is really something I would like to do," he said.