A multi-disciplinary, informal and free-flowing research environment

Juan Esteban Saavedra


Contact Information

Office: VPD 314J
Phone: (213) 821-2782
E-mail: juansaav@usc.edu


Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website

Biographical Sketch

Juan Esteban Saavedra is an Economist at the Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research at USC, with a research focus on development economics and the economics of education. He has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on topics that include vouchers for private schooling, the impact of educational resources on attainment, college value added and job training. His current research projects include work on the collegiate and labor market impacts of school vouchers, the returns to college selectivity, the long term educational and employment impacts of conditional cash transfer and job training programs, charter school impacts, teacher quality and savings in low-income populations.

As member of the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Latin America and the Caribbean teaching staff, Juan Esteban Saavedra has taught multiple courses on design, implementation and analysis of randomized and observational impact evaluations to practitioner and policy-making audiences in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Dominican Republic and United States. He is currently the principal investigator for two randomized demonstration projects in Mexico and Colombia investigating, respectively, the impacts of a pilot charter school and how content, intensity and exposure to financial information affect savings among low-income youth.


  • BA in Economics, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, 1997
  • MA in Economics, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, 1999
  • MA in Public Administration in International Development, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2003
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2009


  • Economist, USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, 2013
  • Associate Economist, RAND Corporation,2011-2013
  • Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia 2009-2011
  • NBER, Research Assistant, Prof. R. Jensen, Cambridge, MA, 2005-2007
  • Inter-American Development Bank, Consultant, Suriname, 2004
  • NBER, Research Assistant, Profs. R. Jensen and S. Dynarski, Cambridge, MA, 2003-2004
  • Trickle-Up, Summer Intern, India, 2002
  • National Planning Department, Evaluation Advisor, Bogotá Colombia, 2000-2001
  • Federation of Coffee Growers, Economist, Bogotá Colombia, 1999-2000
    • facebook
    • twitter
    • YouTube