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Riding in Cars with Boys: Elinor Ostrom's Adventures with the Police

GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 13-01

Posted: 5 Jan 2013 Last revised: 17 Sep 2013

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Jayme S. Lemke

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Liya Palagashvili

State University of New York (SUNY) - Purchase College, Department of Economics

Date Written: January 4, 2013

Abstract

More than forty years ago, Elinor Ostrom began her adventures with the police. In order to combat the conventional view that “bigger means better,” Ostrom pioneered a field work-based framework for measuring police services that utilized consumer surveys and thereby created a community-centered model of analysis for public services. In this paper, we contend that although Ostrom’s career demonstrated the importance of employing multiple methods, her most enduring contributions and legacy came from on-the-ground research. Her case studies and field work proved to be necessary for examining complex systems beyond the state-market dichotomy, and these methods of analysis should be defended as critical for inquiry into the variety of institutional arrangements.

Keywords: Elinor Ostrom, polycentricity, police services, field work

JEL Classification: A11, B41, H41

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Lemke, Jayme S. and Palagashvili, Liya, Riding in Cars with Boys: Elinor Ostrom's Adventures with the Police (January 4, 2013). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 13-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2196510 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2196510

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Jayme S. Lemke

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

4400 University Drive, PPE 1A1
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Liya Palagashvili

State University of New York (SUNY) - Purchase College, Department of Economics ( email )

735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
United States

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