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The Woman Who Just Might Save the Planet

April 2, 2010

Fran Korten and Elinor Ostrom in Yes! Magazine:

What if our economy was not built on competition? Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom talks about her work on cooperation in economics.

For one thing, she is the first woman to receive the prize. Her Ph.D. is in political science, not economics (though she minored in economics, collaborates with many economists, and considers herself a political economist). But what makes this award particularly special is that her work is about cooperation, while standard economics focuses on competition.

Ostrom’s seminal book,Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, was published in 1990. But her research on common property goes back to the early 1960s, when she wrote her dissertation on groundwater in California. In 1973 she and her husband, Vincent Ostrom, founded the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. In the intervening years, the Workshop has produced hundreds of studies of the conditions in which communities self-organize to solve common problems. Ostrom currently serves as professor of political science at Indiana University and senior research director of the Workshop. [More]

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 4, 2010 7:59 PM

    Here’s a column from John Stossel on Ostrom’s work: http://reason.com/archives/2009/10/22/a-nobel-prize-for-showing-that .

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