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School of Business Administration and Economics

Environmental economics
Barbarastr. 12
49076 Osnabrück

Raum 66/E24
Tel: +49 - 541 - 969 - 3426

Juan Felipe Ortiz-Riomalo

Research interests

My work focuses on the research and practice of processes whereby actors – individuals or organisations – craft and enforce institutional arrangements for environmental and natural resource management. I am particularly interested in how such processes (can) involve, weigh in and even transform different understandings, beliefs, values, motivations and preferences through various methods and at different stages to realise socially desirable social-ecological outcomes. Ultimately, I seek to analyse and contribute to designing and implementing policies, policy processes and (polycentric) governance systems that foster and sustain individual and collective pro-social action for socially desirable social-ecological outcomes. For my research, I have drawn on insights from economic history, political economy, policy sciences (institutional analysis, in particular), resource and environmental economics and behavioural sciences (behavioural economics and social psychology, in particular). And I have employed a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods such as participant and non-participant observation, key informant semi-structured interviews, systematic comparative case studies, economic experiments and statistical analysis to examine and disentangle the impacts and mechanisms associated with specific policy and process features. 

Research projects

Current work

Together with S. Engel and A-K. Koessler, I have been researching on the workings and impacts of policy interventions for environmental and natural resource management. We are primarily interested in disentangling the impacts of participatory processes on pro-social behaviour in social dilemma situations, and their potential underlying mechanisms.

Current projects:

  • "Envisioning collective action for natural resource management." A project on participatory vision-building in social-environmental dilemmas funded by the DFG. (Submitted by Stefanie Engel. I was heavily involved in the drafting of the research proposal and am now the postdoctoral researcher in charge of helping her coordinate the project implementation.) Project duration: 01 May 2022 - 30 April 2024.
  • "Can Conversations Change Perceptions? A Social Experiment in the Inequality Territorial Dialogues in Colombia." Co-author and methodological advisor together with Allison Benson. Funded by the TREES initiative, Universidad de los Andes. Project duration: September 2023 - September 2024

My PhD thesis ("Participatory interventions for pro-social and collective action in natural resources management. An institutional and behavioural approach") advances this objective. In the thesis, I review the literatures on participatory governance, collective action and pro-social behaviour, and report, analyse and discuss the results of a series of lab and lab-in-the-field economic experiments.

Past projects

With Juan Camilo Cárdenas, Stefanie Engel, and Ann-Kathrin Koessler. “Prosocial behaviour and collective action for water management in Peru. A participatory intervention based on economic games and economic experiments”. Funding provided by the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation for the Alexander von Humboldt-Professorship of Environmental Economics at the Osnabrück University (Germany). Complementary funding to carry out the planned multi-actor workshops was primarly provided by the Environmental Program of GIZ in Peru (Pro Ambiente); the MERESE-FIDA project and the Institute for Nature, Earth and Energy (INTE) at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). The management committee of the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve (RPNYC), L+1, the steering committee for the formation of the Cañete River Water Resource Council and CELEPSA provided additional logistical support for the workshops we conductd in the Lima region. Video of the multi-actor workshop (Spanish)

In 2015, together with Juan Camilo Cárdenas:  Consensus building and citizen monitoring in Santander, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program “Addressing Biodiversity – Social Conflict in Latin America (ABC-LA)”. Previous related activities were either supported or funded by IBM, the German International Cooperation (GIZ), the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS), and the Research Institute on Biological Resources Alexander von Humboldt in Colombia. Video of the economic games used in the project (by Juan Camilo Cardenas and Uniandes; Spanish).

Between 2012 and 2013, together with Juan Camilo Cárdenas and Angelika Rettberg: A study of the mining policy-making process in Colombia between the end of the 20th Century and the 21st Century. This project was funded by the Vice – Presidency for Research and the Vice – Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the School of Social Sciences, Universidad de los Andes.

Between 2012 and 2013, together with Angelika Rettberg: A study on the relationship between gold mining, armed conflict and criminality in Colombia in the 21st Century. Funded by the Center for Studies on Security and Drugs (CESED), Universidad de los Andes.




With Ann-Kathrin Koessler and Stefanie Engel. 2023. Fostering collective action through participation in natural resource and environmental management: An integrative and interpretative narrative review using the IAD, NAS and SES frameworks. Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 331, 117184. More.

With Ann-Kathrin Koessler, Yaddi Miranda-Montagut and Juan Camilo Cardenas. 2023. Participatory interventions for collective action and sustainable resource management: linking actors, situations and contexts through the IAD, NAS and SES frameworks, Vol 18, 79 - 96 . Sustainability Science. More.

With Ann-Kathrin Koessler and Stefanie Engel. 2021. Inducing perspective-taking for prosocial behaviour in natural resource management. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 102513. More.

With Ann-Kathrin Koessler, Mathias Janke and Stefanie Engel. 2021. Structuring Communication Effectively—The Causal Effects of Communication Elements on Cooperation in Social Dilemmas. Environmental Resource Econonomics 79, 683 – 712. More.

With Angelika Rettberg. 2018. Minería de oro, conflicto y criminalidad en los albores del siglo XXI en Colombia: Perspectivas para el posconflicto colombiano. Colombia Internacional, (no. 93), p. 17-63. More

With Angelika Rettberg. 2016. Golden Opportunity, or a New Twist on the Resource-Conflict Relationship: Links between the Drug Trade and Illegal Gold Mining in Colombia. World Development, Vol. 84, pp. 82-96. More.

With Liliana Lizarazo, Philippe de Lombaerde, Andrea Parra, and Angelika Rettberg. 2014. Constitutional Aspects of FTAs: a Colombian Perspective. European Law Journal, Vol. 20, (6), pp. 824 – 847. More.

With Angelika Rettberg, Philippe de Lombaerde and Liliana Lizarazo. 2014. Rights, Free Trade, and Politics: The Strategic Use of a Rights Discourse in the Negotiations of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Colombia Internacional, 81, pp. 129-165. More.

Book chapter

With Ann-Kathrin Koessler and Stefanie Engel. 2023. The impact of participatory interventions on pro-social behaviour in environmental and natural resource management: evidence from the lab and the field. In A. Bucciol, A. Tavoni, & M. Veronesi (Eds.), Behavioural Economics and the Environment: A Research Companion. Routledge

With Angelika Rettberg and Juan Camilo Cardenas. 2018. Mismo recurso, diferentes conflictos: Un análisis de la relación entre oro, conflicto y criminalidad en seis departamentos colombianos. In Rettberg, A., Leiteritz, R., Nasi, C. & Prieto, J.D. ¿Diferentes recursos, conflictos diferentes? La economía política regional del conflicto armado y la criminalidad en Colombia. Bogotá: Ediciones Uniandes. A previous version of the chapter is available as Documento CEDE (No.64, 2017) Spanish English

With Juan Camilo Cardenas 2018. Acción colectiva para abordar conflictos socio-ambientales: El caso de Santurbán. In Hernández-Quiñonez, A. Modos de gobernanza del agua y sostenibilidad. Aportes conceptuales y análisis de experiencias en Colombia. Bogotá: Ediciones Uniandes. A previous version of the chapter is available as Documento CEDE (No. 29, 2018) More

With Miguel Urrutia. 2015. El oro en la Nueva Granada del siglo XVIII. Auge minero y desarrollo regional. In Meisel, A. & Ramírez, M. T. La Economía Colonial de la Nueva Granada. Bogotá D.C.: Fondo de Cultura Económica, Banco de la República. More. 


Contributing author of the “Methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits, including biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services”, Chapter 4: Barton, D.N., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Lazos, E., Van Noordwijk, M., Engel, S., Girvan, A., Hahn, T., Leimona, B., Lele, S., Niamir, A., Özkaynak, B., Pawlowska-Mainville, A., Muradian, R., Ungar, P., Aydin, C., Iranah, P., Nelson, S., Cantú-Fernández, M., and González-Jiménez, D. (2022). Chapter 4: Value expression in decision-making. In: Methodological Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Balvanera, P., Pascual, U., Christie, M., Baptiste, B., and González-Jiménez, D. (eds). IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany. Invited to contribute to section 4.3.5, specifically: “Avoiding new value externalities through policy design”, led by Stefanie Engel (Julian Rode and Fabian Thomas completed the team of contributing authors of this chapter section). The section builds upon a systematic literature review on motivational crowding by economic incentives in conservation policies:

With Yaddi Miranda-Montagut, Sofía Castro, Ann-Kathrin Koessler and Manuel Rojas. 2020. Estrategia participativa para la gestión colectiva de cuencas basada en juegos económicos. Guideline for a participatory intervention for collective action in watershed management commissioned and by the Ministry of Environment and co-sponsored by the INTE – PUCP (Lima, Peru). We integrated the editorial team in charge of deploying, and documenting, the participatory intervention. The guideline was edited by Alejandra Zúñiga and the graphics were by Aldo Salinas. More

With Angelika Rettberg and Sandra Yañez Quintero. 2014. Legislando minas: breve historia de la legislación minera en Colombia, 1829-2001. Documento CEDE n.°38. Bogotá D.C.: Facultad de Economía, Universidad de los Andes. More.

With Angelika Rettberg, Philippe De Lombaerde and Liliana Lizarazo-Rodríguez. 2014. Trading Rights? Analyzing the Role of a Rights Discourse in Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in Colombia. Iberoamericana, Año XIV, (53), pp.167-173. More.