CredentialsPhD (Harvard University), A.B. (Harvard University)
Eric Werker is the William Saywell Professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. Eric researches how countries can build more thriving and inclusive private sectors and how external actors influence economic and political outcomes. He has written on private sector development, the interface between investments and community, economic diversification, foreign aid, non-governmental organizations, inter-governmental organizations, refugees, and Ebola. Eric teaches about strategy, policy, and global economics to MBAs and executives and has authored numerous case studies on companies and countries around the world.
Outside of academia, Eric is chief economist and co-founder of Inference Economics, an economics advisory. He is a research affiliate of the International Growth Centre in London and a nonresident senior research fellow at the United Nations University WIDER in Helsinki. He was a member of the Emerging Economy Task Force of the Province of British Columbia, chaired the academic directorate of the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute, served as economic advisor to the President of Liberia, supported host government teams negotiating concession agreements, was a member of the Centre for International Policy Studies study group on Canada’s sustainable development policy, served on the advisory group of the Center for Global Development, consulted to the NGO Conservation International on low-carbon development and to the US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation on foreign aid projects, and worked with the Refugee Law Project in Uganda.
Eric's recent publications (most available for free downloads) on benefit-sharing agreements in the mining sector include a 2021 article in Resources Policy (joint with Eric Adebayo, valuing community benefit agreements), a 2021 article in Resources Policy (joint with Sam Szoke-Burke, examining community benefit agreements as multistakeholder institutions), a 2019 article in Extractive Industries and Society (joint with Delgermaa Boldbaatar and Nadia Kunz, on how contract disclosure can improve resource governance), and a 2018 policy report (joint with Ben Boakye, Maggie Cascadden, Jordon Kuschminder, and Sam Szoke-Burke, on a community benefit agreement in Ghana). Articles on resource taxation include a 2021 article in World Development (joint with Eric Adebayo and Addisu Lashitew, on government take in the mining sector) and a 2021 article in Energy Policy (joint with Cameron Gunton and Sean Markey, looking at subsidies to the LNG sector). Eric's research agenda on economic diversification in resource-rich economies includes a 2021 article in the World Bank Research Observer (joint with Addisu Lashitew and Michael Ross, on what drives economic diversification) and a 2020 article in Resouce and Energy Economics (joint with Addisu Lashitew, cutting through the resource curse literature). Eric also has recent papers in three areas of longstanding interest: international political economy, with a 2021 Journal of Comparative Economics article (joint with Faisal Ahmed and Dan Schwab, on the impact of cross-border transfers on democratization and civil war) and a 2019 article in Review of International Organizations (joint with Paul Novosad, measuring the contribution of different countries in staffing the United Nations); the political economy and private sector development, with an application of the framework in the book Deals and Development (joint with Lant Pritchett and Kunal Sen) to fragile and conflict affected states (2021, joint with Kunal Sen); and Liberia, with 2019 article in Economic Development and Cultural Change (with John Spray, on the surprising impact of price controls).
Eric grew up in Vancouver, earned his A.B. and Ph.D in economics at Harvard, and then spent nearly a decade on the faculty of Harvard Business School before returning home. In his spare time Eric can be found spending time with family, skiing, paddling, climbing, and biking. He lives in Kitsilano with his wife and two kids.
articles and reports
Siaplay, M., & Werker, E. (2023, February). Will rising insecurity erase West Africa's economic development gains? Future Development. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2023/02/03/will-rising-insecurity-erase-west-africas-economic-development-gains/
Siwale, T., & Werker, E. (2023, January). Climate change action could set off a copper mining boom: how Zambia can make the most of it. Conversation. https://theconversation.com/climate-change-action-could-set-off-a-copper-mining-boom-how-zambia-can-make-the-most-of-it-195764
Werker, E. (2022, March). The Russian economy is headed for collapse. Conversation. https://theconversation.com/the-russian-economy-is-headed-for-collapse-178605
Ahmed, F. Z., Schwab, D., & Werker, E. (2021). The political transfer problem: How cross-border financial windfalls affect democracy and civil war. Journal of Comparative Economics, 49(2), 313-339. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jce.2020.10.004
Lashitew, A., Ross, M., & Werker, E. (2021). What Drives Successful Economic Diversification in Resource-Rich Countries? World Bank Research Observer, 36(2), 164-196. http://doi.org/10.1093/wbro/lkaa001
Adebayo, E., Lashitew, A. A., & Werker, E. (2021). Is conventional wisdom about resource taxation correct? Mining evidence from transparency reporting. World Development, 146(October), 1-14. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2021.105597
Gunton, T., Werker, E., & Markey, S. (2021). Community benefit agreements and natural resource development: Achieving better outcomes. Resources Policy, 73. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2021.102155
Adebayo, E., & Werker, E. (2021). How much are benefit-sharing agreements worth to communities affected by mining? Resources Policy, 71, 101970. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2020.101970
Werker, E., & Sen, K. (2021). Deals and Development in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States. United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research. https://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/Publications/Book/PDF/Werker-and-Sen-deals-and-development-guidebook.pdf
Szoke-Burke, S., & Werker, E. (2021). Benefit sharing, power, and the performance of multi-stakeholder institutions at Ghana's Ahafo mine. Resources Policy, 71, 101969. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2020.101969
Gunton, C., Markey, S., & Werker, E. (2021). Evaluating British Columbia's economic policies for liquefied natural gas development. Energy Policy. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111711
Lashitew, A. A., & Werker, E. (2020). Do natural resources help or hinder development? Resource abundance, dependence, and the role of institutions. Resource and Energy Economics, 61. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.reseneeco.2020.101183
Siaplay, M., & Werker, E. (2020, April). An Epidemic and a Commodity Price Rout at the Same Time? It Happened in 2014. Center for Global Development. https://www.cgdev.org/blog/epidemic-and-commodity-price-rout-same-time-it-happened-2014
Lashitew, A., Ross, M., & Werker, E. (2020). Online Appendix for: What Drives Successful Economic Diversification in Resource-Rich Countries? Global Development Institute. https://beedie.sfu.ca/tracs/../sms/admin/_DocLibrary/_ic/a3a5c42c64c92be167606bb1df4fd2de.pdf
Evans, D., & Werker, E. (2020, March). What a Population's Age Structure Means for COVID-19's Impact in Low-Income Countries. Center for Global Development. https://www.cgdev.org/blog/what-populations-age-structure-means-covid-19s-impact-low-income-countries
Kinloch, K., Werker, E., & Contributors, T. O. (2020). Emerging Economy Task Force: Final Report. Province of British Columbia. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/employment-business-and-economic-development/economic-development/emerging-economy-task-force/eetf-final_report-20200511-final.pdf
Boldbaatar, D., Kunz, N. C., & Werker, E. (2019). Improved resource governance through transparency: Evidence from Mongolia. Extractive Industries and Society, 6(3), 775-787. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2018.12.007
Spray, J., & Werker, E. (2019). Price controls in liberia. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 67(3), 461-491. http://doi.org/10.1086/698327
Novosad, P., & Werker, E. (2019). Who runs the international system? Nationality and leadership in the United Nations Secretariat. Review of International Organizations, 14(1). http://doi.org/10.1007/s11558-017-9294-z
Schwab, D., & Werker, E. (2018). Are economic rents good for development? Evidence from the manufacturing sector. World Development, 112, 33-45. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.07.014
Boakye, B., Cascadden, M., Kuschminder, J., Szoke-Burke, S., & Werker, E. (2018). Implementing the Ahafo benefit agreements: seeking meaningful participation at Newmont's Ahafo gold mine in Ghana. Canadian International Resources and Development Institute. https://cirdi.ca/report-implementing-the-ahafo-benefit-agreements/
Musacchio, A., & Werker, E. (2016, December). Mapping frontier economies. Harvard Business Review, 2016(December). https://hbr.org/2016/12/mapping-frontier-economies
Bowles, J., Hjort, J., Melvin, T., & Werker, E. (2016). Ebola, jobs and economic activity in Liberia. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 70(3), 271-277. http://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2015-205959
Biggs, M., McArthur, J. W., Higgins, K., Moloney, D., Werker, E., & Sanchez, J. (2015). Towards 2030: Building Canada's engagement with global sustainable development. Centre for International Policy Studies. https://beedie.sfu.ca/sms/admin/_DocLibrary/_ic/865a0009542597c8eef2ee0e5f305cf0.pdf
Glennerster, R., & Werker, E. (2015, July). The economics of Ebola. LSE Connect, 11-13. http://www.lse.ac.uk/alumni/LSEConnect/pdf/summer2015/The-Economics-of-Ebola.pdf
Ahmed, F. Z., & Werker, E. D. (2015). Aid and the rise and fall of conflict in the Muslim world. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 10(2), 155-186. http://doi.org/10.1561/100.00014060
Werker, E. (2013, December). A market-based mechanism to improve capital expenditures. Ideas for Africa. http://www.theigc.org/blog/a-market-based-mechanism-to-improve-capital-expenditures/
Siaplay, M., & Werker, E. (2013). What role for private education in Liberia's public education policy? International Growth Centre. https://beedie.sfu.ca/tracs/../sms/admin/_DocLibrary/_ic/934a15636568e7a449fa18e9b0c731f5.pdf
Werker, E. (2013). Learning from double-digit growth experiences. International Growth Centre. http://www.theigc.org/person/eric-werker/
Dreher, A., Klasen, S., Vreeland, J. R., & Werker, E. (2013). The costs of favoritism: Is politically driven aid less effective? Economic Development and Cultural Change, 62(1), 157-191. http://doi.org/10.1086/671711
Ding, S., Wyett, K., & Werker, E. (2012). South Sudan: The birth of an economy. Innovations (Cambridge): Technology, Governance, Globalization, 7(1), 73-90. https://beedie.sfu.ca/tracs/../sms/admin/_DocLibrary/_ic/a95c695a3dd81fe14d9cc4d8325d9020.pdf
Pritchett, L., & Werker, E. (2012). Developing the guts of a GUT (Grand Unified Theory): elite commitment and inclusive growth. Effective States and Inclusive Development. https://beedie.sfu.ca/tracs/../sms/admin/_DocLibrary/_ic/291faf1410b14c19d1b6dc780c8d7592.pdf
Werker, E., Cole, S. A., & Healy, A. (2012, November). Natural disasters hurt incumbents. Politico. http://www.politico.com/story/2012/11/natural-disasters-hurt-incumbents-083184?o=0
Cole, S., Healy, A., & Werker, E. (2012). Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief. Journal of Development Economics, 97(2), 167-181. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2011.05.005
Fisman, R., & Werker, E. (2011). Innovations in governance. Innovation Policy and the Economy, 11, 79-102. http://doi.org/10.1086/655819
Werker, E. (2011). Negotiating for Development: A New Paradigm for Natural Resource Agreements. Harvard Business School Publishing. https://beedie.sfu.ca/tracs/../sms/admin/_DocLibrary/_ic/91f18bb1ac6f402b8e22a260e60853d1.pdf
Werker, E. (2010). Disaster politics: International politics and relief efforts. Harvard International Review (Website). http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=39359
Kaja, A., & Werker, E. (2010). Corporate governance at the World Bank and the dilemma of global governance. World Bank Economic Review, 24(2), 171-198. http://doi.org/10.1093/wber/lhq006
Werker, E., & Fisman, R. (2009, October). The end of foreign investment in Russia? Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/13/foreign-investment-russia-opinions-contributors-raymond-fisman-eric-werker.html
Werker, E., Ahmed, F. Z., & Cohen, C. (2009). How is foreign aid spent? Evidence from a natural experiment. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 1(2), 225-244. http://doi.org/10.1257/mac.1.2.225
Werker, E. (2009, March). How globalization's losers win. www.TheAtlantic.com. www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/03/how-globalizations-losers-win/922/
Cohen, C., & Werker, E. D. (2008). The political economy of "natural" disasters. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 52(6), 795-819. http://doi.org/10.1177/0022002708322157
Werker, E. (2008, November). Power to the people. Foreign Policy, 78-79. http://foreignpolicy.com/2009/10/06/power-to-the-people/
Muzinich, J., & Werker, E. (2008). A better approach to foreign aid. Policy Review, 19-28. https://www.hoover.org/research/better-approach-foreign-aid
Werker, E., & Ahmed, F. Z. (2008). What do nongovernmental organizations do? Journal of Economic Perspectives, 22(2), 73-92. http://doi.org/10.1257/jep.22.2.73
Werker, E. (2007). Refugee camp economies. Journal of Refugee Studies, 20(3), 461-480. http://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/fem001
Werker, E. (2007, March). KPMG for Mayor! Forbes, 179(6), 40. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/0326/040.html
Fisman, R., & Werker, E. (2007). Local Company Politics. Capitalism and Society, 2(1), 1-8. http://doi.org/10.2202/1932-0213.1021
Ahuja, A., Wendell, B., & Werker, E. (2007). Male Circumcision and AIDS: the Macroeconomic Impact of a Health Crisis. Harvard Business School Publishing. https://beedie.sfu.ca/tracs/../sms/admin/_DocLibrary/_ic/4a584ae6641af7bb41052d482834dbdc.pdf
Kuziemko, I., & Werker, E. (2006). How much is a seat on the Security Council worth? Foreign aid and bribery at the United Nations. Journal of Political Economy, 114(5), 905-930. http://doi.org/10.1086/507155
Hovil, L., & Werker, E. (2005). Portrait of a failed rebellion: An account of rational, sub-optimal violence in western Uganda. Rationality and Society, 17(1), 5-34. http://doi.org/10.1177/1043463105051775
Werker, E. (2002). Refugees in Kyangwali Settlement: Constraints on economic freedoms. Refugee Law Project. http://www.refugeelawproject.org/files/working_papers/RLP.WP07.pdf
Hovil, L., & Werker, E. (2001). Refugees in Arua District: A human security analysis. Refugee Law Project. http://refugeelawproject.org/files/working_papers/RLP.WP03.pdf
books chapters and monographs
Pritchett, L., Sen, K., & Werker, E. (2017). Deals and development: An introduction to the conceptual framework. In Pritchett, L., Sen, K., & Werker, E. (Eds.), Deals and Development: The Political Dynamics of Growth Episodes (pp. 1-38). Oxford University Press. http://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198801641.003.0001
Pritchett, L., Sen, K., & Werker, E. (2017). Searching for a 'recipe' for episodic development. In Pritchett, L., Sen, K., & Werker, E. (Eds.), Deals and Development: The Political Dynamics of Growth Episodes (pp. 339-354). Oxford University Press. http://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198801641.003.0011
Werker, E., & Pritchett, L. (2017). Deals and development in a resource-dependent, Fragile State: The political economy of growth in Liberia, 1960-2014. In Werker, E., Pritchett, L., & Sen, K. (Eds.), Deals and Development: The Political Dynamics of Growth Episodes (pp. 39-70). Oxford University Press. http://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198801641.003.0002
Pritchett, L., Sen, K., & Werker, E. (Eds.), (2017). Deals and development: The political dynamics of growth episodes. Oxford University Press. http://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198801641.001.0001
Donovan, J., Lawrence, K., Neyor, C., Niesten, E., & Werker, E. (2013). Assessing potential carbon revenues from reduced forest cover loss in Liberia. In Revesz, R. L., Livermore, M. A., Livermore, M. A., & Revesz, R. L. (Eds.), The Globalization of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Policy (pp. 293-304). Oxford University Press. http://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199934386.003.0019
Werker, E., Ahmed, F., & Cohen, C. (2013). How is foreign aid spent? Evidence from a natural experiment. In Millner, H. V., Tingley, D., Milner, H. V., & Tingley, D. (Eds.), Geopolitics of Foreign Aid. Edward Elgar Publishing (UK).
Werker, E. (2012). The Political Economy of Bilateral Foreign Aid. In Caprio, G., & Caprio Jr., G. (Eds.), Handbook of Safeguarding Global Financial Stability: Political, Social, Cultural, and Economic Theories and Models (pp. 47-58). Elsevier Ltd (UK). http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7183.html
Werker, E. (2008). Weak states can be coaxed creatively. In Clark, C., & Kinsley, M. (Eds.), Creative Capitalism: A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other Economic Leaders. Simon & Schuster.
Related Teaching Material
Dalaibuyan, B., Lord Ferguson, S. T., & Werker, E. (2021). Rio Tinto and Omnogovi: A Community Cooperation Agreement. Case ID:Ivey ID: 9B20M005..
Reinert, S., Nam, S., Pan, S., & Werker, E. (2018). ArcelorMittal and the Ebola Outbreak in Liberia. Case ID:HBS Case No. 718029..
Applegate, L., Werker, E., Otazo, A., & Peinado, C. (2016). Movile: Building a global technology company. Case ID:HBS Case No. 716-010..
Werker, E., & Law, M. H. K. (2015). Hong Kong: The pursuit of freedom. Case ID:HBS 716-027..
Werker, E., Batbold, B., Kennedy, K., McComish, Z., Savla, S., & Shomair, N. (2015). Rio Tinto and mining in Mongolia: The Oyu Tolgoi deposit. Case ID:HBS 714-018..
Werker, E., Berardi, S., Elia, S., Muakkassa, O., & Zumberge, J. (2015). Cyprus (A). Case ID:HBS 714-010..
Werker, E., & Cornell, I. (2014). Foreign Direct Investment and South Africa (B). Case ID:HBS Supplement No. 712-054..
Werker, E., Berardi, S., Elia, S., Muakkassa, O., & Zumberge, J. (2013). Cyprus (B). Case ID:714011-PDF-ENG..
Werker, E., Berardi, S., Elia, S., Muakkassa, O., & Zumberge, J. (2013). Tax Havens. Case ID:HBS 713-090..
Werker, E., Mandviwala, Y., Motte-Munoz, H., & Wit, A. (2013). Ayala Corporation and the Philippines: Asset allocation in a growing economy (A). Case ID:HBS 713-093..
Werker, E., Mandviwala, Y., Motte-Munoz, H., & Wit, A. (2013). Ayala Corporation and the Philippines: Asset allocation in a growing economy (B). Case ID:HBS 713-094..
Rithmire, M., Werker, E., Kennedy, B., & Knauer, A. (2013). Pittsburgh. Case ID:HBS 713-035..
Werker, E. (2013). MYTO New Entrant IPP. Case ID:HBS Spreadsheet Supplement 713-703..
Werker, E. (2012). 4M: Four-Markets Analysis for Emerging Economies. Case ID:HBS Technical Note 713-026..
Werker, E., & Musacchio, A. (2012). GEM 15: Country development strategies in 15 statistics. Case ID:HBS Technical Note 713-025..
Werker, E., Ezekwueche, O., Igun, O., & Wei, A. (2012). Privatization of the power sector in Nigeria (A). Case ID:713042-PDF-ENG..
Werker, E., Ezekwueche, O., & Igun, O. (2012). Privatization of the power sector in Nigeria (B). Case ID:713043-PDF-ENG..
Werker, E. (2012). Liberia (TN). Case ID:HBS Teaching Note 713-001..
Werker, E., Fisman, R., & Weber, L. (2012). Hermitage's Russia Quandary (A). Case ID:HBS No. 711-054..
Roscini, D., Werker, E., & Yeo, H. (2012). The Kaesong Industrial Complex (B): Global Manufactures GmBH's Dilemma. Case ID:HBS Supplement No. 710-023..
Werker, E., & Beganovic, J. (2011). Liberia. Case ID:HBS No. 712-011..
Werker, E., Fisman, R., & Weber, L. (2011). Hermitage's Russia Quandary (B). Case ID:HBS Supplement: 711-055..
Werker, E., Musacchio, A., & Schlefer, J. (2010). Angola and the resource curse. Case ID:711016-PDF-ENG..
Roscini, D., Werker, E., & Yeo, H. (2009). The Kaesong Industrial Complex (A). Case ID:HBR 710-022..
Weinzierl, M., & Werker, E. (2009). Barack Obama and the Bush Tax Cuts. Case ID:HBR 709-037..
Mikes, A., Tufano, P., Werker, E., & de Neve, J. E. (2009). The World Food programme during the global food crisis (B). Case ID:709052-PDF-ENG..
Mikes, A., Tufano, P., Werker, E., & de Neve, J. E. (2009). The World Food Programme During the Global Food Crisis (A). Case ID:Harvard Business School Case 709-024..
Alfaro, L., Werker, E., & Kim, R. (2007). Aid, Debt Relief, and Trade: An Agenda for Fighting World Poverty (A). Case ID:Harvard Business School Case 707-029..
Alfaro, L., Werker, E., & Kim, R. (2007). Aid, Debt Relief, and Trade: An Agenda for Fighting World Poverty (B). Case ID:Harvard Business School Supplement 707-040..
Werker, E. (2007). Foreign Direct Investment and South Africa. Case ID:Harvard Business School Case 707-019..