Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Claire "Lin" Ostrom (née Awan; August 7, 1933 – June 12, 2012) was an American political economist[1][2][3] whose work was associated with the New Institutional Economics and the resurgence of political economy.[4] In 2009, she was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for her "analysis of economic governance, especially the commons", which she shared with Oliver E. Williamson. To date, she remains the first of only two women to win the Nobel Prize in Economics,[5] the other being Esther Duflo.

Elinor Ostrom
Ostrom in 2009
Born
Elinor Claire Awan

(1933-08-07)August 7, 1933
DiedJune 12, 2012(2012-06-12) (aged 78)
Bloomington, Indiana,
United States
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States
Spouse(s)Charles Scott
Vincent Ostrom (1965–2012; her death)
Institution
Field
School or
tradition
New institutional economics
Alma materUCLA (BA, PhD)
Doctoral
advisor
Dwaine Marvick
Contributions
Awards
Information at IDEAS / RePEc

After graduating with a B.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA, Ostrom lived in Bloomington, Indiana, and served on the faculty of Indiana University, with a late-career affiliation with Arizona State University. She was Distinguished Professor at Indiana University and the Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and co-director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, as well as research professor and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University in Tempe.[6] She was a lead researcher for the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP), managed by Virginia Tech and funded by USAID.[7] Beginning in 2008, she and her husband Vincent Ostrom advised the journal Transnational Corporations Review.[8]

Since the 60s, Ostrom was involved in resource management policy and created a research center, which attracted scientists from different disciplines from around the world. Working and teaching at her center was created on the principle of a workshop, rather than a university with lectures and a strict hierarchy.

Ostrom studied the interaction of people and ecosystems for many years and showed that the use of exhaustible resources by groups of people (communities, cooperatives, trusts, trade unions) can be rational and prevent depletion of the resource without government intervention.