Oscar Barriga-Cabanillas

Oscar Barriga-Cabanillas

Ph.D. candidate

University of California, Davis


I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis.

In my Job Market Paper, I identify heterogeneous responses to a digital credit product that finances cellphone expenditure. I find poorer customers are able to relax binding liquidity constraints, whereas non-poor customers demand loans for their convenience and not for pressing liquidity needs.

My research combines high-frequency data with traditional household surveys to understand the daily financial lives of the poor. I also explore how big data can be used to identify and target vulnerable households, and its limitations.


  • Development Economics
  • Poverty and inequality, with an emphasis on remote sensing


  • PhD candidate in Agriculture and Resource Economics, 2021 (expected)

    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