Elinor Ostrom – Nobel Prize in Economics 2009

2 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2010

See all articles by Paul Dragos Aligica

Paul Dragos Aligica

George Mason University - Mercatus Center


Elinor Ostrom's groundbreaking studies on self-governance systems and on how people solve common-pool resource problems have challenged the theory and practice of economic development. Two theses stand at the core of this challenge. Firstly, any single, comprehensive set of formal laws intended to govern a large expanse of territory containing diverse ecological niches is bound to fail. Secondly, improving the abilities of those directly engaged in the particulars of their local conditions to organise themselves is potentially a better strategy than attempting to implement idealised, theoretically optimal institutional arrangements. From there to tangible national-level economic growth strategies in developing countries is a long road but Ostrom and her team have pointed the direction and opened the way.

Suggested Citation

Aligica, Paul Dragos, Elinor Ostrom – Nobel Prize in Economics 2009. Economic Affairs, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 95-96, March 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1562120 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0270.2009.01982.x

Paul Dragos Aligica (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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