Publication Type: 
Research on the EITI
Published Date: 
August, 2016

To disclose or not to disclose: How global competition for foreign direct investment influences transparency reforms in extractive industries


In the last decade, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has grown in both popularity and influence. The ascendance of EITI is surprising because traditionally, leaders of resource-rich states prefer to tightly control their extractive industries. This paper investigates the underlying causes of EITI membership in order to understand its acceptance, even among some of the most authoritarian regimes. The paper argues that leaders of resource-rich countries use the EITI to consolidate their international prestige as eager reformers, which serves to both maintain and lure foreign investment. The cross-national and interrupted time series analyses reveal that EITI members not only have higher FDI levels compared to non-members, but these investments increase once countries join the initiative.