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Elinor Ostrom Wins Nobel Prize

Just in… Prof Elinor Ostrom has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Ostrom, from University of Indiana, USA, is the first female Laureate in Economic Sciences and will share the prize with Prof Oliver E. Williamson, from the University of California Berkeley, USA.

Ostrom was praised “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons.” According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences:

Elinor Ostrom has challenged the conventional wisdom that common property is poorly managed and should be either regulated by central authorities or privatized. Based on numerous studies of user-managed fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes, and groundwater basins, Ostrom concludes that the outcomes are, more often than not, better than predicted by standard theories. She observes that resource users frequently develop sophisticated mechanisms for decision-making and rule enforcement to handle conflicts of interest, and she characterizes the rules that promote successful outcomes.

Some of the key books by Ostrom on Common-Pool Resources include:

  • Ostrom, Elinor. 2005. Understanding Institutional Diversity. Princeton University Press.
  • Ostrom, Elinor, Roy Gardner, and James Walker. 1994. Rules, Games, and Common-Pool Resources. University of Michigan Press.
  • Ostrom, Elinor. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press.

Elinor Ostrom, US citizen. Born in 1933 in Los Angeles, CA, USA. Ph.D. in Political Science in 1965 from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, both at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University, Tempe, USA. Read the full profile of Elinor Ostrom >>

For more information on the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics click this link.

You can watch Ostrom’s press conference by clicking this link.


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