Bradley Parks

Dr. Brad Parks is Executive Director of AidData ( and Research Faculty at the College of William and Mary’s Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. His research on the allocation and impact of international development finance has been published in Science, World Development, the Journal of Development Studies, Global Environmental Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and China Economic Quarterly.  His book publications include Greening Aid? Understanding the Environmental Impact of Development Assistance (Oxford University Press, 2008) and A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy (MIT Press, 2006). From 2005-2010, Brad was part of the initial team that set up the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Brad holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and an M.Sc. in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Content by Bradley Parks
  • Publication - Policy note

    Parceling out prosperity? An impact evaluation of natural resource sector investments in Liberia

    Governments in West Africa increasingly require foreign investors to build and maintain public infrastructure in exchange for rights to extract natural resources on their land. Liberia has adopted this strategy to fill an infrastructure gap after the civil war and build ‘spatial development corridors’ alongside concessionaire-sponsored infrastructure. This...

    12 Apr 2019 | Bradley Parks, Jonas Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Bai Gbala, Daniel Runfola

  • Publication - Project Report

    Natural resource sector FDI, government policy, and economic growth: Quasi-experimental evidence from Liberia

    23 Apr 2018 | Jonas Bunte, Harsh Desai, Kanio Bai Gbala, Bradley Parks, Daniel Runfola

  • Blog post

    What are development corridor strategies, and do they work?

    Across large swaths of the developing world, a new trend is taking hold: governments are targeting public and private investments in specific geographic areas in the hopes of creating spatial “development corridors.” These strategies are guided by the belief that concentrating and co-locating infrastructure investments in specific locations can create clusters of...

    24 Feb 2017 | Bradley Parks

  • Project

    The socio-economic impacts of natural resource concessions in Liberia

    Evidence from Liberia suggests that requiring foreign investors to provide public goods in the areas where their investments are physically sited can better spur local economic growth. Researchers concluded this by matching data on individual concessions granted to investors by the Liberian government with night-time light growth data, collected via satellite. The...

    26 Jan 2017 | Bradley Parks, Daniel Runfola, Jonas Bunte, Kanio Bai Gbala

  • Blog post

    Parceling out prosperity? Tracking and evaluating the impacts of natural resource concessions in Liberia

    How concerned would you be if a third of your country's land was granted to foreign investors? Liberia has pinned its hopes for economic development on foreign direct investment, granting somewhere between 21% and 38% of the country's land to investors, or concessionaires, in the agriculture, forestry and mining sectors. However, a 2011 survey of nearly 1500 rural and...

    19 Jan 2017 | Bradley Parks

  • Blog post

    Are African leaders misusing Chinese development finance? The price of country ownership

    In a 2012 blog post, MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Harvard’s James Robinson call attention to a “fancy school” built in a small village in Sierra Leone and financed by Chinese development aid. They ask a pointed question: “Why would anyone want to build a wonderful school in the middle of what Africans call ‘the bush’?” As Acemoglu and Robinson explain, “Yoni...

    18 Aug 2015 | Axel Dreher, Andreas Fuchs, Roland Hodler, Bradley Parks, Paul Raschky, Michael Tierney