Parker is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Montana State University, and also serves as a PERC Senior Research Fellow. He has a deep interest in institutions, property rights, and policy-relevant research. His research fields include environmental and resource economics, law and economics, and economic development.
Parker’s articles use modern empirical techniques to learn how the behavior of individuals, firms, and public agencies has responded to institutional change (e.g., changes in rules, laws, and compliance procedures). His papers address a variety of questions including: How important are stable and transparent legal institutions to economic development? When can relinquishing sovereignty help a nation’s citizens prosper? Can the assignment of property rights to cooperatives (rather than to individuals) end the wasteful race to harvest natural resource stocks? Does government crowd out (or crowd in) the private provision of environmental public goods? How does the organization of environmental and resource agencies affect how bureaucrats allocate management effort towards different constituent groups? How do public funding mechanisms influence how much, and what kind of, private land is conserved? Can conservation easements be used effectively in a marine environment?
Parker’s research has been published in the Journal of Law & Economics, Natural Resources Journal, Arizona Law Review, Australian Journal of Ag. & Resource Economics, and other venues including chapters in books published by Stanford University Press. He earned a Ph.D. in Economics from UC-Santa Barbara in 2009, where he was a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow in Environment Economics & Science.