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Eli Berman

Eli Berman is IGCC Research Director for International Security Studies and professor of economics at UC San Diego. He co-directs the Economics of National Security group at the National Bureau of Economic Research and helps lead the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. He is president of the Economics of National Security Association. Publications include Publications include Proxy Wars (with David Lake, 2019),  Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict (with Jacob N. Shapiro and Joseph H. Felter, 2018) and Radical, Religious and Violent: The New Economics of Terrorism (2009). Recent grants supporting his research have come from the Minerva Research Initiative and the National Science Foundation. Berman received his PhD in economics from Harvard University.

Recent Publications

Eli Berman Discusses Proxy Warfare in Africa
Jan. 7, 2021
In this new podcast episode from the Modern War Institute at West Point, IGCC Research Director for International Security Studies Eli Berman and retired Major General Marcus Hicks discuss how proxy warfare is leveraged by the American military in Africa. Deployed U.S troops often work with partner proxies directly to maintain a degree of influence in African countries, but with 700 U.S servicemembers set to withdraw from Somalia, the question of how these proxies cooperate with American decision-makers in the absence of U.S forces is particularly pertinent.

The Middle East in the Global Pandemic
July 22, 2020 | IGCC News
Check out IGCC research director Eli Berman’s lecture “The Middle East in the Global Pandemic and Depression,” delivered on July 14 for the UC San Diego Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Berman discusses recent developments in the Middle East, including Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the implications of COVID-19 for peace and conflict.

Economics of Violence, A Webinar with Eli Berman
July 22, 2020 | IGCC News
In this webinar, IGCC research director Eli Berman interviews economist Gary Shiffman about his new book The Economics of Violence: How Behavioral Science Can Transform Our View of Crime, Insurgency, and Terrorism. Joined by members of the Economics of National Security Association and CNA, Shiffman, explains how economics can be applied to help understand the drivers of large-scale illicit behavior.

CliffsNotes: Empirical Studies of Conflict
June 8, 2020
Scholars of political violence from across the country gathered (virtually) at the Empirical Studies of Conflict 2020 annual meeting May 28-29. With a focus on technology, fragility, and development, researchers discussed the economics of conflict, the political impacts of social media, crime and policing, refugees, and civil war and foreign intervention. Here, presenters summarize what problem they hope their research will help to solve; what they are learning; and why they care about the work they do.

5 Questions on Development and Conflict
April 28, 2020 | By Eli Berman, IGCC Research Director, and David Lake, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at UCSD
Violence is a feature of life in many developing countries. As governments, private philanthropic organizations, and communities work to reduce inequity, alleviate poverty, and improve the well-being of people living in low- and middle-income countries, what role does conflict play in stymying development? And can development reduce conflict?

IGCC Hosts former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
Nov. 19, 2019 | By Lindsay Morgan | IGCC News
In her remarks at the 7th annual Herb York Memorial Lecture, Tzipi Livni reflected on what increased tensions—including war in Syria, religious extremism and the growing confidence and strength of Iran—portend for peace and stability in the region.

  • development and conflict
  • labor economics
  • economics of religion
  • economic demography
  • refugees and security
  • labor demand and technological change
  • religion
  • Middle East
  • terrorism and insurgency
  • applied econometrics
  • fertility
  • language