About Me

I am pre-doctoral fellow at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. I am currently working at the Climate Impact Lab under the supervision of Professors Solomon Hsiang and Michael Greenstone. I also work with Professor Steve Cicala exploring energy market regulations and using a lot of data. In a past life, I was a Data Scientist at DSaPP (now at Carnegie Mellon), and a career bureaucrat at the Central Bank of Colombia.

Research Interests

My interests are environmental and energy economics. I would like to explore the political constraints of environmental regulation, and the interplay of human and earth systems by using the tools from both applied microeconomics and climate science.

Most recently, as part of the NSF NRT Group at UChicago, we have been exploring winter-time weather variability trying to answer the question about extreme weather events under climate change (i.e. are events like this going to be more frequent in the future) and building metrics to capture and measure its economic effects.


  1. Bonilla-Mejia, L., & Higuera-Mendieta, I. (2019). Protected Areas under Weak Institutions: Evidence from Colombia. World Development, 122. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.06.019.

    • Ranked second-best paper by the International Sustainable Development Research Society.
    • Press coverage: El Tiempo
  2. Rodolfa, K. T., Salomon, E., Haynes, L., Higuera-Mendieta, I, Larson, J., & Ghani, R. (2020). Case study: Predictive fairness to reduce misdemeanor recidivism through social service interventions. In Proceedings of the 2020 conference on fairness, accountability, and transparency (142–153). FAT* ‘20 . doi:10.1145/3351095.3372863.

  3. Higuera-Mendieta, I, Farah, A., Song, Y., Franke, J. A., Moyer, E., & Nakamura, N. (2020). Arctic airmass displacement and reduced midlatitudes wintertime temperature variability under climate change. [In preparation for Geophysical Research Letters].

    • Presented at the American Geophysical Union Meeting AGU 2020.