, Volume 153, Issue 3-4, pp 263-268

Elinor Ostrom (1933–2012)

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There are few people whose life and work has the capacity to change an entire profession. Elinor Ostrom was one such person, which makes her loss on June 12, 2012, such a great blow to the discipline she loved. Her work changed how we think about institutions of governance. She taught us to be careful about generalizations and to embrace complexity rather than avoid it in our models. To those who knew this work, it was not surprising when the Nobel committee recognized those contributions by awarding her the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics (The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel) with Oliver Williamson. It was her greatest professional recognition, but it was not sufficient to recognize the myriad ways she shaped all around her through collaboration, contestation, and love. Even less surprising was the fact that Lin would be the first woman to be so recognized in economics. Lin was always a path-breaking role model for women in her field. There was no