Focus areas: macroeconomics, development, politics.  

Mauricio Cardenas is a recognized Latin American economist with vast academic and policymaking experience.  As Colombia’s finance minister between 2012 and 2018 he handled the oil shock (which caused a 40% reduction in Colombia’s exports), implementing a successful adjustment program that preserved high investment rates and sharp reductions in poverty and inequality. Prior to the shock he had led a fiscal reform that cut payroll taxes, triggering an unprecedented increase in formal jobs. In addition to Finance, has been a minister in four other portfolios: Economic Development (Industry and Housing), Transport, Planning, Mines and Energy, and recently Finance.

His academic experience is mostly associated with Fedesarrollo, where he has been twice executive director, and the Brookings Institution, where he has been Senior Fellow and Director of the Latin America Initiative.

He is currently is a member of the Task Force led by Michael Bloomberg and Lawrence Summers on ways to use taxation in order to improve health outcomes. He is also a Distinguised Fellow at the Center for. Global Development in Washington D.C. and the Center for Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a former president of LACEA.

He is married and has three daughters.

He will be teaching a class at SIPA on Fiscal Policies for Development, combining theory and practice.

Some of his most cited publications include “On the effectiveness of capital controls: The experience of Colombia during the 1990s,” Journal of Development Economics, Volume 54, Issue 1, 1997 and his well know textbook Introducción a la Economía Colombiana, Alfaomega, Bogotá. (4th edition now in preparation). A complete list of his publications is here https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=TOtBgXgAAAAJ&hl=en