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Indiana University

SPEA Professor shares Nobel in Economics

October 12, 2009

To view the Indiana University press release and to watch a news conference with Elinor Ostrom and IU President Michael McRobbie, go here.

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

OstromThe Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was awarded on Monday to two Americans for their work in economic governance.

The prize committee cited Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons" and Oliver E. Williamson of the University of California, Berkeley, "for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm."

Ms. Ostrom becomes the first woman to win the prize for economics.

Her work demonstrated "how common property can be successfully managed by user associations," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said at a news conference on Monday in Stockholm. And Mr. Williamson has "developed a theory where business firms serve as structures for conflict resolution."

Ms. Ostrom, who was born in 1933 in Los Angeles, is Arthur F. Bentley Professor of Political Science and Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington. She received her Ph.D. in political science in 1965 from the Universtiy of California, Los Angeles.

Mr. Williamson, who was born in 1932 in Superior, Wis., received his Ph.D. in economics in 1963 from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. He is the Edgar F. Kaiser Professor Emeritus of Business, Economics and Law and professor of the graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley.

The economics prize was established in 1969 by the Swedish central bank in honor of Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite, and established the awards for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature in his will in 1896.

The winners will share 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.4 million), and each receive a gold medal and diploma from the Swedish king on Dec. 10, which is the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.

Last year's winner was Paul Krugman, a professor at Princeton and an Op-Ed page columnist for The New York Times. Mr. Krugman won the prize for his research, beginning in 1979, that explained patterns of trade among countries, as well as what goods are produced where and why.