Tag Archives: Megan Mahan

Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom at Mercatus Today

For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, 2009 Economics Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, the co-director of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, will be speaking today at a Mercatus Center panel discussion entitled “Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development: The Bloomington School.”

Registration for the event is now closed, but it will be livestreamed on the web at 4 PM.

In October, Emily Washington wrote about what Dr. Ostrom’s Nobel means for those interested in state and local government and governance and resource management:

Ostrom is most notable for her work related to collective action and common pool resources. In contradiction to the Tragedy of the Commons hypothesis developed by Garrett Hardin, she notes that informal social institutions can arise to maintain pooled resources successfully over time. Ostrom has focused on examples of people creating systems for sustainable natural resource management with the ecosystems that they depend on such as forests and fisheries.


While the idea of a top down authority to manage neighborhood affairs may sound more methodical and efficient than allowing spontaneous order and properly aligned incentives to direct common resource management, Ostrom’s work suggests that Robert Nelson’s policy prescription of Residential Improvement Districts may go much further toward optimal neighborhood governance than top-down city planning authorities.

Paul Dragos Aligica wrote about the prize here, and Peter Boettke wrote about it here.

Anyone with questions about the event can call Megan Mahan at 703-993-4930 or email her at mmahan@gmu.edu.