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Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom (August 7, 1933 – June 12, 2012) was an American political economist whose analysis of self-governance and the commons, along with other notable works, lead her to become the first woman to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Ostrom authored many books in the fields of political science, public administration, and organizational theory.

Fun Fact: In 2012, Ostrom was cited as one of the world's 100 most influential people by TIME Magazine.

To learn more about Ostrom's ideas, such as how economic thinking can be applied to solve various problems,  check out one of our summer seminars Problem Solving 101.

 

Elinor Ostrom at managing "common pool" resources 

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December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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