Tuesday, October 13, 2009

76-year-old is first woman to win Nobel Prize for Economics

Elinor Ostrom's award takes number of female laureates in 2009 to five

The grip enjoyed by men on the Nobel Prize for Economics was broken at last yesterday when Elinor Ostrom, a professor at the University of Indiana, became the first woman to be honoured with the award.

Her win ensured that 2009 was a record-breaking Nobel year for women, with five female winners.

Professor Ostrom, 76, shares her prize with with a fellow American academic, Oliver Williamson, also 76, who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. Both professors specialise in economic governance and the deployment of authority to resolve conflicts.

Professor Ostrom has written notably about how common resources like forests and fisheries are best exploited if the rules and regulations are set by their actual users rather than by government. Most of Professor Williamson's work has been on the role of companies in making markets work smoothly.

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