Erik Wibbels

Erik Wibbels

Robert O. Keohane Professor

External address: 
204J Gross Hall, 140 Science Drive, Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90204, Durham, NC 27708-0204
(919) 660-4322


A Professor of Political Science, Wibbels' research focuses on development, decentralized governance, and other areas of political economy. He is the co-general editor of the Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics series. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the International Growth Centre and AidData, and he has published articles in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, International Organization, Comparative Political Studies and elsewhere. Current major projects include the combination of surveys and satellite images to identify slums in India and understand the conditions under which residents achieve formal recognition and successfully attract public services; an impact evaluation of a large, district-level USAID program in Ghana; and work on how the geographic emergence and spread of state authority impact long-term economic development. He also works with bilateral and multilaterial donors to improve the design and evaluation of governance programming. Wibbels previously taught at the University of Washington and the Juan March Institute and was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico 2000

  • M.A., University of New Mexico 1996

  • B.A., University of Virginia 1993

Wibbels, E., and D. Christensen. “Labor Standards, Trade and the Evolution of Inequality.” International Studies Quarterly, April 2013.

Wibbels, E., P. Beramendi, and B. Barber. “The Behavioral Foundations of Social Policy: Risk and Redistribution in a Laboratory Democracy.” Comparative Political Studies, February 2013.

Christensen, D., and E. Wibbels. “Labor Standards, Labor Endowments, and the Evolution of Inequality.” International Studies Quarterly, 2013.

Ahlquist, J. S., and E. Wibbels. “Riding the Wave: World Trade and Factor-Based Models of Democratization.” American Journal of Political Science 56, no. 2 (April 1, 2012): 447–64. Full Text

Wibbels, E., and J. Ahlquist. “Inequality, Factor Prices and Political Regimes.” American Journal of Political Science, 2012, 447–64.

Wibbels, E., and P. Beramendi. “The Political Geography of Constitutional Choice.” Public Choice, 2012.

Wibbels, E., M. Ward, and F. Hollenbach. “The Geography of Governance: Evidence from Satellite Imagery.” Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2012.

Wibbels, E., and J. S. Ahlquist. “Development, Trade, and Social Insurance.” International Studies Quarterly 55, no. 1 (March 1, 2011): 125–49. Full Text