Riccardo Welters, PhD (Maastricht University, Netherlands) is currently Associate Professor in Economics at the College of Business, Law and Governance, Division Tropical Environments and Societies, James Cook University (JCU). He is also Theme Leader ‘Sustainable Development’ at the Cairns Institute, JCU.


Associate Professor Welters graduated in economics from Maastricht University in 1997, including a semester at the University of Trento, Italy, as an Erasmus exchange student. He completed a PhD in economics from Maastricht University in 2005 studying employer recruitment behaviour re the long-term unemployed. He holds research fellowships at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, Maastricht University and the Centre of Full Employment and Equity, University of Newcastle, Australia.


Associate Professor Welters has more than 20 years of experience in (labour market) economics research and higher education in Australia and the Netherlands. He has been seconded to the positions of Head of Discipline—Economics, Acting Head—School of Business, and Head Academic Group—Economics and Marketing, all at JCU. He was Deputy Director—Centre of Full Employment and Equity at University of Newcastle.

Welters has taught economics classes at bachelor, honours, masters and research higher degree level in the Netherlands, Australia and Papua New Guinea, next to substantial course coordination roles at JCU. He has supervised more than fifteen Honours/Masters/PhD students to completion at JCU.

Welters has consulted widely with industry partners, either through consultancy arrangements (including Australian Defence Organisation, Townsville Enterprise Limited, Advance Cairns, and Townsville City Council) or through research partnerships (including LP130100344 with Youth+ Edmund Rice Education Australia, Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Northern Territory Department of Education, Catholic Education Office of Western Australia, The Brotherhood of St Laurence, Centacare Townsville). He currently holds a 75,000 euros ($115,000) international research grant with the European Think Forward Initiative (a consortium of private sector companies Amazon Web Services, CEPR, DELL, Deloitte, IBM, ING) investigating the effects of financial worry

Research impact

Associate Professor Welters has published more than 40 journal articles / book chapters / papers in conference proceedings and has published a substantial number of research reports for industry partners (google scholar: >700 citations; H-index: 15; I10-index: 22). His most recently published article ‘Job search in the presence of a stressor: Does financial hardship change the effectiveness of job search?’ is in the Journal of Economic Psychology. Welters has presented his work at over 35 conferences / symposia across the world. He has served as Assessor for the Australian Research Council and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Professional service

Associate Professor Welters is an Economic Advisor to Townsville Enterprise Limited and Scientific Advisor to the Tropical Brain and Mind Foundation. He is also a regular media commentator on economic matters, particularly relevant to the North Queensland region.

  • BU1003: Principles of Economics (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • BU1007: Principles of Data Analysis for Business (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
  • BX2022: Macroeconomic Policy (Level 2; TSV)
  • BX3023: Economic Growth and Sustainable Development (Level 3; TSV)
  • EC5205: Economic Growth and Sustainable Development (Level 5; TSV)
  • EC5206: Macroeconomic Policy (Level 5; TSV)
  • EC5600: Independent Study (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • TM5526: Public Health Economics (Level 5; TSV)
  • Consulting in economic impact studies
  • Consulting in labour market policy
  • Socio-economic Disadvantage
  • Un(der)employment
  • Casualisation of the Labour Market
  • Financial Pressure
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Regional Economic Growth
  • Modern Monetary Theory
  • 2020 to present - Course Coordinator - Bachelor of Business (honours), JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2020 to present - Course Coordinator - Bachelor of Commerce (honours), JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2016 to present - Associate Professor in Economics, JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2019 to 2021 - Academic Head Economics and Marketing, JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2010 to 2015 - Senior Lecturer in Economics, JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2012 to 2014 - Head of Economics Discipline, JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Course coordinator - Master of Economics, JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Course Coordinator - Bachelor of Economics (Honours), JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Course coordinator - Graduate Diploma of Economics, JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2008 to 2010 - Lecturer in Economics, JCU (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2005 to 2008 - Research Fellow / Lecturer in Economics, University of Newcastle (Newcastle, Australia)
  • 2001 to 2005 - PhD student, Maastricht University (Maastricht, The Netherlands)
  • 1999 to 2001 - Associate Lecturer in Economics, Maastricht University (Maastricht, The Netherlands)
  • 1997 to 1999 - Research Consultant, Maastricht University (Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2015 - Fellow - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (University of Maastricht, the Netherlands)
  • 2008 - Fellow - Centre of Full Employment and Equity (University of Newcastle, Australia)
  • 2020 - Agriculture Technology and Adoption Centre, James Cook University
  • 2020 - Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia, James Cook University

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 57+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Riccardo Welters from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Scholarship

Improved measures of idiosyncratic and systematic risk as determinants of firm capital structure and value.

Indicative Funding
$45,000 over 3 years
Determine the influence labour markets have on a firm?s capital structure. Look at the supply chain effects of labour markets. The research has not been conducted on a region?s labour market characteristics and how that influences financial leverage through future earnings volatility. First time supply chains have been considered and first time a detailed analysis of non-listed Australian firms will be conducted.
Sean Kelly and Riccardo Welters (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Financial Leverage; Regional; Labour Markets; Supply Chain

Southern Gulf NRM Ltd - Contract Research

e-beef Evaluation Project.

Indicative Funding
The project will evaluate the outcomes of the e-beef Project. The e-beef project worked with selected grazing businesses (Smart Farms) and groups of grazing businesses (Innovation Hubs) in regional Qld to demonstrate and trial innovative technologies that aimed to improve the accuracy and timeliness of livestock perfrmance and pasture data. It was expected that the e-beef project would assist grazing businesses to make informed management decisions based on recorded data. The e-beef evaluation project outsomes will inform future research and activity in Innovation and Commercialisation Projects.
Rachel Hay and Riccardo Welters in collaboration with Carrie-Ann Wilson (College of Business and Law & Governance)
Ag-Tech; Resilience; Drought; Agriculture; Adoption

Think Forward Initiative - Netherlands - Grant

"Money on my Mind": Investigating the Dynamics of Financial Worry

Indicative Funding
$15,145 over 2 years
We aim to (1) examine the extent to which financial worry is "dynamic", that is, the extent to which financial worry changes over time within individuals, for instance from week-to-week; (2) examine how intra-individual changes in financial worry associate with intra-individual changes in personal well-being, social and human capital, and labour market behaviour (3) identify moderating factors that mitigate the negative effects of financial worry; that is, factors that may offset the deleterious effects of financial worry and eventually help in breaking the poverty cycle. We will conduct bi-weekly surveys of individuals with various backgrounds, in three countries Netherlands, Belgium and Australia.
Riccardo Welters, Bert Schreurs and Ruud Gerards (College of Business, Law & Governance, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Universiteit Maastricht)
Financial worry; Economic decision making

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Exploring the Role of Intentional Design in Online Collaborative Learning Contexts (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • The Impact of FDI Entry on Innovation of Small Medium Sized Enterprises in Emerging Countries: Evidence from Vietnam (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • The Future Sustainability of Employment in Regional Australia: The Case of Well-being of Workers in Far North Queensland (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Accessing the Outcomes of Volunteering for the Individual and the Community (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Teaching 'Hope': Incorporating Hope Theory in Australian Law Students' Academic Experience (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Labour market friction and firm capital structure: The case of Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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