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ok, it is a bit of a stretch.
But certainly, Ostrom and Williamson have informed my/our work for years
PS: US media not focusing on the fact that Ostrom is first non card
carrying economist to win the prize, whose terms have never been
restricted to economists -- but for "Economic Sciences".
Too bad it didn't include Harrison.
S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC NetLab Director
Department of Sociology 725 Spadina Avenue, Room 388
University of Toronto Toronto Canada M5S 2J4 twitter:barrywellman
Updating history: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php
US duo wins Nobel Economics Prize, first woman lauded
US duo wins Nobel Economics Prize, first woman lauded AFP/HO – An undated
handout image from the US National Academy of Sciences shows Elinor
Ostrom. Ostrom and Oliver …
by Pia Ohlin Pia Ohlin – 31 mins ago
STOCKHOLM (AFP) – The Nobel Economics Prize went Monday to US economists
Oliver Williamson and Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the award, for
research on ethical corporate governance and natural resource management.
Their work may be seen as particularly topical in the wake of the global
financial crisis and ongoing efforts to combat climate change.
"The research of Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson demonstrates that
economic analysis can shed light on most forms of social organisation,"
the jury said.
Ostrom, who describes herself as a political scientist and not an
economist, won half the 10-million-kronor (1.42-million-dollar,
980,000-euro) prize "for her analysis of economic governance" especially
relating to the management of common property or property under common
control, such as natural resources.
Her work challenged the conventional wisdom that common property is poorly
managed and should be either regulated by central authorities or
privatised, the jury said.
A professor at Indiana University whose name has circulated as a possible
winner in recent years, Ostrom told Swedish television her first reaction
was "great surprise and appreciation," and said she was "in shock" over
being the first woman to clinch the honour.
"If we want to halt the degradation of our natural environment and prevent
a repetition of the many collapses of natural-resource stocks experienced
in the past, we should learn from the successes and failures of
common-property regimes," the jury said.
"Ostrom's work teaches us novel lessons about the deep mechanisms that
sustain cooperation in human societies," it added.
She conducted numerous studies of user-managed fish stocks, pastures,
woods, lakes and groundwater basins, and concluded that the outcomes are
"more often than not, better than predicted by standard theories," the
Williamson, a professor at the University of California Berkeley, was
honoured with the other half of the prize "for his analysis of economic
governance, especially the boundaries of the firm."
He has studied the existence of large firms and argued that hierarchical
organisations represent alternative governance structures which differ in
their approaches to resolving conflicts of interest.
Williamson's work may be considered to be related to one of the basic
theories explaining the purpose of a company or firm, which is to manage
A company manages contracts with a wide range of parties so as to produce
a benefit beyond that which a specific customer could achieve itself.
Williamson?s work touches on ways in which the firm can best aggregate
some contracting activities to best advantage.
"According to Williamson's theory, large private corporations exist
primarily because they are efficient ... When corporations fail to deliver
efficiency gains, their existence will be called in question," the Nobel
Landis Gabel, a senior economics and management professor at top French
business school INSEAD and who studied under Williamson in the 1970s, told
AFP the choice of Williamson and Ostrom was "timely".
"Both the Nobel laureates this year have been working on areas that kicked
off with the concept of failing markets," he said.
"In the one case (in Ostrom's work) the failure has to do with common
resources and the other (Williamson's) with imperfections that have
implications for the structure of business firms," he said.
"But both of these laureates have done work quite different from the more
traditional, purely theoretical work that drives off of perfect markets,
perfectly rational behaviour."
The Economics Prize is the only one of the six Nobel prizes not created in
Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's 1896 will -- it was created much
later to celebrate the 1968 tricentary of the Swedish central bank and was
first awarded in 1969.
The Economics Prize wraps up this year's Nobel season, dominated by
For the five Nobel prizes announced last week -- for medicine, physics,
chemistry, literature and peace -- nine of the 11 laureates were US
citizens, including US President Barack Obama who sensationally won the
This year was also a record year for women laureates, with five honoured
including Ostrom, beating the previous record of three.
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