Oscar Barriga-Cabanillas

Oscar Barriga-Cabanillas

Extended Term Consultant

The World Bank


I am a consultant at the World Bank working on the Poverty Unit for West Africa. I focus on understanding how we can leverage data to target social programs, the impact digital technologies in facilitating financial inclusion and participation in the labor market, and the role public policy plays at reducing poverty and inequality. For this, I combine non-traditional information, such as cellphone detail records and satellite data, with household surveys and census records.

Prior to my career at the World Bank, I received a Ph.D. in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis.


  • Development Economics
  • Remote sensing for the evaluation of public programs
  • Financial inclusion
  • Impacts of the GIG economy
  • Urban development


  • Ph.D. in Agriculture and Resource Economics, 2021

    University of California, Davis

  • MA in Economics, 2012

    Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

  • BA in Economics, 2010

    Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

Working Papers

“A Group Random Coefficient Approach to Modeling Heterogeneity in Technology Adoption”.

“The potential and limitations of big data in development economics: The use of cell phone data for the targeting and impact evaluation of a cash transfer program in Haiti?”.

“The Effects of Local Market Concentration and International Competition on Firm Productivity: Evidence from Mexico”.


University of California, Davis

Main Instructor

  • Development Economics (Winter 2017)

Teaching Assistant

  • Econometrics (Graduate, Spring 2017)
  • Development Economics (Undergraduate, 2016)
  • Econometrics (Undergraduate, Winter 2015)

Other Teaching

  • BITSS: Research Transparency and Reproducibility Training (April 2018)
  • Experimental Economics Workshop: Transparency and Replicability (January, 2019)

Professional Experience


The World Bank

Sep 2012 – Jun 2014 Washington, DC

Responsibilities include:

  • Analysing household surveys for the Latin American region
  • Modelling trends of socioeconomic indicators
  • Programming a Stata interface to keep version control and guarantee transparency and reproducibility of indicators

National Planning Department

Jan 2011 – Aug 2012 Colombia
Economic study of the agricultural sector in Colombia’s western plains