Elinor Ostrom, economist
Indiana University economist Elinor Ostrom was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009 for her work in economic governance, the first woman to receive the award for economics. Her award-winning work analyzed the economics of governance and common property – such as air, water, or public spaces – which encompass some of the world’s most pressing challenges. According to the Nobel site, Ms. Ostrom “challenged the conventional wisdom by demonstrating how local property can be successfully managed by local commons without any regulation by central authorities or privatization.”
Given the recent global economic crises, “the world is again beginning to appreciate what Elinor Ostrom has deeply, persistently and quietly been illuminating for nearly 50 years,” said Robert Johnson from the Institute for New Economic Thinking who wrote Ostrom’s entry for TIME.