Academic title
EfD Center

Cárdenas, Juan Camilo

Juan Camilo Cárdenas is the current Director of the Center of Sustainable Development Goals  for Latin America and the Caribbean (CODS in Spanish) which sits at the Universidad de los Andes. He is also Professor at the Department of Economics at Universidad de Los Andes and  Professsor at University of  Massachusetts Amherst, as well as a Senior Research Fellow of EfD Colombia. He holds a PhD in Environmental and Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2000). 

Research interests 

His research interests include the analysis and design of institutions (rules of the game) that promote cooperation among individuals and the solution of social dilemmas in the most fair, efficient, equitable, democratic and sustainable manners possible. 

His research focus on the collective management and self-management of resources by campesino, afro-descendants and indigenous communities. He is interested in analyzing how communities manage their shared resources and uses of tools from behavioral and experimental economics, field experiments and participatory tools, to illuminate the policy making process where self-governance and self-management of resources can play a role in creating sustainable pathos for communities. 


He was the main advisor of doctoral students (Cesar Mantilla (2013), Santiago Gomez (2018), Ruth Guillen (2019), Jose David Lopez (2020). 


He is the creator of the “Palante Pacifico” scholarship program who raised USD2.5 Million in 2018 to bring students from the Pacific coast in Colombia to the Universidad de los Andes (Bogota) 


  • Finalist award to the best instructor in economics and business, Periódico Portafolio, Colombia  
  • Mención de Honor “Fundación Alejandro Angel Escobar” Science Prize in Environment and Sustainable Development 2018. Proyecto “Basic - Cartagena: Interacciones entre cuenca, mar y comunidades – ciencia para tomadores de decisión”. Autores: Juan Darío Restrepo Ángel (Coordinador), Profesor Investigador de la Universidad EAFIT, Medellin, Juan Camilo Cárdenas Campo, Profesor Titular de la Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, D.C, y Doris Esther Gómez Camargo, Directora del Doctorado en Medicina Tropical de la Universidad de Cartagena. 
  • Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency, 2016. Bellagio, Italy. 
  • Selected in 2014 as one of the 30 Colombian leaders by Revista Semana and the Leadership and Democracy Foundation.  
  • Recipient of the SCOPUS-Elsevier Colombia Award 2013 for the highest H-index in the Humanities in the country.  
  • Recipient of the 2009 “Fundación Alejandro Angel Escobar” Science Prize in Environment and Development, for the book “Dilemas de lo Colectivo: Instituciones, pobreza y cooperación en el manejo local de los recursos de uso común”. 
  • Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies - Fall 2008, David Rockefeller Center of Latin American Studies, Harvard University. 
  • Premio Bienal al Investigador Javeriano en Ciencias Sociales. Biannual Award to the researcher in social sciences, Javeriana University, Agosto, 2003 
  • Santa Fe Institute International Fellowships Competition. Junior Award (2002-2004) 
  • First Place. Research Medal Awards (Category “Environmental and Social Sustainability”) 2000 
  • Second “Global Development Network GDN” Conference GDN2000 Tokyo, Japón, December 11-13, 2000. Paper: “Real Wealth and Experimental Cooperation: Evidence from Field Experiments”. Selection committee chaired by Joseph E. Stiglitz. Committee members: Nancy Birdsall, Francois Bourguignon, Takatoshi Ito and Amartya Sen. 
  • Research and Writing Grants Competition (2000-2001), The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Program on Global Security and Sustainability. Project: "OBSERVING PEOPLE IN THE FIELD LAB: Learning through Field Experiments about Cooperation in Communities Using Biodiversity Resources". Amount awarded: US$70,992. 
  • Joseph L. Fisher Dissertation Award for 1999-2000.1999. Resources for the Future. Washington, D.C.. 
  • WWF Prince Bernhard Scholarship for Nature Conservation. 1999. WWF World Wide Fund for Nature. WWF International, Gland, Switzerland. 
  • Associate Editor, International Review of Economics 
  • Associate Editor, Ecology and Society 
  • Associate Editor, Latin American Economic Journal. 
  • Guest editor for a Special Issue on “Collective action and the governance of the commons in Latin America”, Ecological Economics, December issue, 2015. 
  • Executive Committee, Economic Science Association (2018-2020) 
  • Consejo Directivo, Corpovisionarios. 2016-2020. 
  • Miembro del Consejo Superior, Universidad de Los Andes (2013-2014) 
  • Scientific Council, Instituto Alexander von Humboldt 
  • Executive Committee, Steering Committee, CAPRi. The System-wide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights initiative at the CGIAR. 
  • Miembro del Consejo Directivo Fundación Natura (2004-2006) 
  • Miembro de Comité Editorial, Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press. 
  • Miembro de Comité Editorial, Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los Andes 


People | 22 April 2013