Rocio Titiunik is honored with the Society for Political Methodology's 2016 Emerging Scholar Award. The emerging scholar award honors a young researcher, within ten years of their degree, who is making notable contributions to the field of political methodology.
The prize committee members included Josh Clinton (Chair, Vanderbilt), AdamBerinsky (MIT), Jens Heinmueller (Stanford), and Jas Sekhon (Berkeley).
Their citation for the award follows:
"The members of the Emerging Scholars Award Committee consisting of Adam Belinsky, Jens Heinmueller, Jas Sekhon, and Josh Clinton (Chair) are pleased to announce that the 2016 Emerging Scholar Award for the Society of Political Methodology is Rocio Titiunik of the University of Michigan. Since receiving her Ph.D. in 2009, Rocio has made several important and notable contributions to the study of political methodology, most focusing on methods devoted to identifying causal effects.
Perhaps her most impressive paper is her wonderful Econometrica paperon RD methods. In the standard RD framework, identification depends on the continuity of conditional expectation functions and bandwidth selection is of critical importance. Rocio and her co-authors fully develop the statistical theory and methods to estimate confidence intervals that have the correct coverage using a mean-squared error bandwidth selector. Her paper introduced the only RD estimator that recovered the experimental benchmark in the Finish election data (where they do actually randomized tied elections) in a paper written by different, independent authors and the software she developed to implement the procedure makes her contribution accessible to scholars doing with with RD designs.
Another one of her many interesting papers is her paper in the American Political Science Review that carefully examines how one should evaluate whether natural circumstances can be interpreted as a natural experiment. This thoughtful and nuanced paper is both a sustained critique of natural experiments and call to use them correctly which will again help political scientists in their work to identify effects of interest. Because of work such as this, we enthusiastically and unanimously commend Rocio for her many excellent contributions to both the field of political methodology and the larger discipline as well."