Maria Alejandra Vélez is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, and Senior Research Fellow of EfD Colombia. She holds a Ph.D. in Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Dr. Velez is also the Director of the Center of Studies on Security and Drugs (CESED in Spanish) at Universidad de Los Andes. She was a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University (2006-2008) and the Mellon Visiting Professor at the Duke Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies- Duke University, Durham, NC (Fall 2013).
Her research interests focus on decision-making and institutional design concerning developing country environmental and natural resource issues. Using economic field experiments, she has been studying local resource sharing and collective action dilemmas of rural villagers in Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. Recently she has been studying the impact of economic incentives on intrinsic motivations and the effect of collective titling on forest cover and communities wellbeing in the Colombian Pacific Region.