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Montana economists win Fraser Institute award for groundbreaking research in aboriginal policy

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Release Date: September 28, 2011

VANCOUVER, BC—A pair of Montana State University professors have won the Addington Prize in Measurement presented by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

Professors Terry L. Anderson and Dominic P. Parker received the award, which comes with a $10,000 prize, for their paper Sovereignty, Credible Commitments, and Economic Prosperity on American Indian Reservations, which measures the crippling economic consequences resulting from the lack of private property rights on Indian reserves. The paper, which is available at www.perc.org, was published through the Property & Environment Research Center (PERC) in Bozeman, Montana, where Anderson and Parker are research fellows.

“Anderson and Parker’s paper shows that when American Indian bands were subject to state civil property law, they experienced significantly faster economic growth and rising incomes compared to tribes not subject to state jurisdiction,” said Stephen Easton, chair of the Fraser Institute’s Addington Centre for the Study of Measurement.

“Their analysis shows that having private property rights on reserves is more likely to lead to economic development and growth, which in turn makes for a more prosperous community. The gain is in the order of a percentage point of additional growth each year. Over 30 years, that will increase income 30 per cent.”  

The Addington Prize in Measurement is named after Raymond Addington, former chairman of the Fraser Institute Board of Trustees. The prize recognizes a person or team who has researched a new, interesting, and important concept in public policy, exemplifying the Institute’s motto: If it matters, measure it.   

The winning paper was selected by a panel of academics. Entries were judged on several criteria, including originality and significance of the ideas presented, persuasiveness of the argument, and integrity of the data.

The 2012 Addington Prize in Measurement will be open for nominations early next year.




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