Elinor Ostrom


IU Bloomington

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"I was deeply interested in how institutions were initially crafted, and then how they affected the incentives and outcomes of human interactions in many settings."

Elinor “Lin” Ostrom was a global leader in the multidisciplinary arena of political economics, property rights, and collective action. In 1965, she earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at UCLA, and began her IU career. She co-founded the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis with Vincent Ostrom in 1973 to further interdisciplinary teaching and research about institutions and collection action. Her book, Governing the Commons (1990), demonstrated not only that local groups can successfully work together to manage and sustain shared resources but how. Elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2001, she became the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, for her groundbreaking analysis “of economic governance, especially the commons” in 2009.

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