12 October 2009

Elinor Ostrom of the Stockholm Resilience Center Receives the Nobel Prize

American Professor Elinor Ostrom, board member of the Mistra funded Stockholm Resilience Center, has been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. She shares the prize with Professor Oliver Williamson.

Elinor Ostrom, and Oliver Williamson are being recognized for their research on economic organization. The Royal Academy of Sciences acclaims its choice of Elinor Ostrom by stating that she deserves the prize “for her analysis of economic organization—in particular of community owned ones."

In a press release from The Royal Academy of Science it is stated that Elinor Ostrom has challenged the conventional notion that joint ownership is often misused and, therefore, should either be privatized or regulated by central authorities. Based on numerous studies of co-managing fish stocks, pastures, forests, lakes and aquifers, Ostrom finds that the results are often better than what current theory assumes and predicts. In order to manage conflicts, the users have tended to develop sophisticated mechanisms for decision-making and enforcement of rules, and Ostrom shows the characteristics of successful user associations.
This is the first time a woman has been awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. However, it is not the first time a Mistra connected person has been awarded the prize. Michael Oppenheimer, the evaluator of the project Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS, received the peace prize in 2007.

Elinor Ostrom is currently working at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.


Elinor Ostrom, American Citizen. Born 1933 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Ph.D. in Political Science in 1965 at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

She is Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and a professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs—both at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.

She is also the Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity at Arizona State University, Tempe, USA.

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