Dominic Parker

Visiting Fellow

Dominic Parker is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. Parker is an associate professor in agricultural and applied economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, a senior fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center, and a regular faculty lecturer at the Ronald Coase Institute and the Elinor Ostrom Workshop. He is a coeditor at Land Economics and an editorial board member at the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

Dr. Parker’s research spans topics in natural resource, environmental, and development economics. It includes studies of conflict minerals, oil booms and busts, land use and conservation, fishery and wildlife regulation, and indigenous economies. This research focuses on the role that property rights, governance, and institutions play in affecting the extent to which societies and individuals benefit from their natural resource endowments.

Parker studies the effectiveness of government policies toward natural resources, ranging from the tax treatment of conservation easements to the management of endangered wildlife. His research on the unintended consequences of US regulations over “conflict minerals” from Africa was featured in diverse press outlets including BBC News, Wall Street Journal, Reason Magazine, and Mother Jones. Based on it, Parker was asked to testify before a US Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee and to join an OECD advisory panel on global supply chain issues related to the “responsible” sourcing of natural resources.  

Parker also contributes research to the Hoover Project on Renewing Indigenous Economies. His most recent articles, published in the Economic Journal and the Journal of Development Economics, focus on identifying some of the causes and consequences of fragmented and incomplete property rights to land and minerals on American Indian reservations. His earlier research, published in the Journal of Law & Economics, studied the historical effects of tribal judicial sovereignty on reservation economies.


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Recent Commentary

Oil Drilling

Fragmented Ownership and Natural Resource Use: Evidence from the Bakken

by Dominic Parkervia Oxford Academic: The Economic Journal
Friday, September 25, 2020

Does land fragmentation impair spatially expansive natural resource use? We conduct empirical tests using ownership variation on the Bakken, one of the world's most valuable shale oil reserves. Long before shale was discovered, U.S. policies created a mosaic of private, jointly owned, and tribal government parcels on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. We find that all three forms of fragmentation reduced production during the 2010–2015 oil boom, especially joint ownership and the interspersion of small parcels of government and private land. We estimate implied gains from consolidation and discuss implications for the use (or conservation) of other spatially expansive resources.

Land quality, land rights, and indigenous poverty

by Dominic Parker, Terry Andersonvia Journal of Development Economics
Sunday, March 1, 2020

Agricultural land endowments should contribute positively to economic growth, but in countries colonized by European powers this has not always happened. Productive land attracted colonization, which disrupted Indigenous institutions in ways that can stunt development. American Indian reservations provide a powerful example.

In the News

Un-American Reservations

by Terry Anderson, Dominic Parkervia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why don't our Indian lands have secure property rights...?

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Un-American Reservations

by Terry Anderson, Dominic Parkervia Defining Ideas
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why don't our Indian lands have secure property rights?