IU Prof Earns Nobel Prize in Economics

A big kudos to my alma mater down in Bloomington for having its eighth affiliated Nobel Prize (counting faculty and former students). Elinor Ostrom got the call yesterday morning about receiving the award and has been granting interviews since. The Indianapolis Star explains:

In a nutshell: Ostrom has dedicated her life to exploring how humans can better manage things such as water systems, forests, fisheries — and even themselves — by being active participants in decision-making and management of resources…

Her work, which she shared with her husband, Vincent, has developed during the past 36 years of research performed at the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, which the Ostroms founded together. She served as its director until July when she stepped down to become senior research director.

The center has researchers in more than a dozen countries — working with forest managers in 13 nations, water resource officials in the Western United States, government reformers in Liberia and peace builders in Sudan.

The key to any success, Ostrom said Monday, has been the involvement of local people who are affected and have a vested interest.

"What we have ignored is what a community can do and the importance of real involvement of the people," said Ostrom, who first observed this in Los Angeles, watching how the community worked together to solve the problem of saltwater intrusion into the groundwater systems.