Posted by: yannaungoak | October 12, 2009

Elinor Ostrom wins the 2009 Econ Nobel!

She is:

  • the first woman to win the Economics Prize
  • a political scientist, not an economist (which goes to show that the social sciences are more interrelated than one might think)
  • not a dabbler in arcane mathematics, unlike most people who win the Economics Prize (which goes to show that the popular view that contemporary economics is just abstruse mathematics is not exactly correct)
  • an advocate of behavioral economics, which uses insights from economic experiments, psychology, and neuroscience to form more nuanced and empirically grounded models of human economic behavior, in contrast to the super-rational Homo Economicus of standard economic theory

And, one of the influences for my Economics thesis last year 😀 ! Her classic book, Governing the Commons, was a very good read. I even cited one of her papers in my thesis. In fact, that was one of the first papers I read for my thesis.

And another thing. The criteria for winning the Economics prize is kinda sorta subjective, unlike in the natural sciences where the prize is only awarded to advancements that are supported by solid empirical evidence. But *ahem*, unlike some other award that was given this year, at least Ostrom won her prize AFTER she wrote all her books and papers.


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