Elinor Ostrom

Economics is believed to be one of the unfriendliest sectors for women. This belief is strengthened by the lack of female economists at the higher echelons , as well. This is one of the main reasons why Elinor Ostrom deserves more attention.

Elinor Ostrom is the first woman to have won the Nobel Prize for Economics, ever since it was established in 1969. She specialized in the study of political economy, and new institutional economics. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2009, a prize she shared with Oliver E. Williamson. They got the Nobel for their work on economic governance, especially of the commons (resources that are shared by all).

Elinor Ostrom

She tackled the economic problems of limited resources and utilization of the same from a different perspective. She approached the problem of utilization of the commons as an economist, an anthropologist and an ecologist. It was this unique perspective that drew the Nobel Committee’s attention towards her.

Elinor, fondly known as “Lin” is also a cheery, perky figure who maintains her own garden and dresses in bright tops she buys from charity shops. Her achievement is spectacular, for she’s the face of female economists everywhere. However, her achievement also draws light to the fact that the field of economics still suffers from an acute lack of female representation.


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