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Bloomington Professor Elinor Ostrom Wins Nobel Economics Prize

Indiana University‘s main campus at Bloomington, and greater metropolitan Indianapolis education have a new feather in their caps today, and her name is Elinor Ostrom. The professor was named as the co-recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, which she shares with Oliver E. Williamson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Since the Nobel economics prize was originated in 1968, its recipients have all been males, until now. Ms Ostrom has the distinction of being the first woman to have won the Nobel economics prize, and she is the fifth woman awarded a Nobel award in 2009, which constitutes a record in the annals of the award.

Ostrom is in excellent company. With respect to the Nobel price, 2009 has been a record year for Americans, and her name stands forever on the same list as President Barack Obama’s, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

The combined body of work accomplished by the two winners, Ostrom and Williamson, is receiving this prestigious recognition for their important contributions toward economic governance research. This subject has risen to the forefront recently, due, in great part, to the prize-winner’s diligent and productive efforts, coinciding with the recent world economic crisis. Ostrom and Williamson have both had a hand in advancing theories that have the potential of enlightening, informing and improving the way society organizes and manages their wealth and productivity.

Elinor Ostrom, 77, teaches Political Science, and co-directs a Political Theory and Analysis workshop at Indiana University in Bloomington, a city about a half hour to the southwest of Indianapolis in Central Indiana. It was through her workshop that Ostrom demonstrated how, in opposition to the accepted theories, common resources can be better managed, to put it simply.

The Nobel prize academy praised Ostrom for her innovative approach to the subject of economic science. Her thesis challenges the widely accepted idea that common property is better managed by “central authorities,” or even privatized organizations. She accomplished a number of studies proving that user-management methods reap better outcomes than standard theories predict, thereby changing the very overall approach to economic science itself.

Fun City Finder joins the Nobel prize academy in applauding Elinor Ostrom, an example, once again, of the practical yet imaginative thinking that has made the Midwest strong and adaptable. Indianapolis society, and Indiana culture and society as a whole, depend on the continuing optimism, hard work and integrity of individuals such as the prize-winning professor.

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