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Viridiana Rios

Photo of Viridiana Rios

Visiting Assistant Professor

Political Science

As a professor of Advanced Quantitative Methodology, I use statistical learning techniques to show how government structures/policies may induce illegality, either by securing unequal privileges, facilitating criminal activities, or triggering conflict or violence. I also spot the unintended consequences of crime and impunity for economic development, citizen’s redistribution preferences, business organizations, migration patterns, and media coverage. Extracting and expose counter-intuitive and surprising truths hidden in plain sight is the goal of my research, and I do it mostly in Mexico and Central America.

My research has been awarded the American Political Science Association’s Leonard D. White prize to the best doctoral dissertation written in 2014, and Harvard’s Merit Fellowship for Outstanding Research in 2011. I have hold research grants and fellowships from The Wilson Center (2016), The Guggenheim Foundation (2014), and The Center for US-Mexico Studies at UCSD (2011), among others. I was also selected as one of the top-12 young experts by NBER’s Working Group of the Economics of Crime in 2012, and profiled at Harvard Gazette as one of the 15 Harvard’s stellar graduates of 2013.