Skip to main content
Log in

Endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful: Elinor Ostrom and the diversity of institutions

  • Published:
Public Choice Aims and scope Submit manuscript

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.


  • Alchian, A. (1950). Uncertainty, evolution and economic theory. Journal of Political Economy, 58(3), 211–221.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alchian, A. A., & Demsetz, H. (1972). Production, information costs, and economic organization. American Economic Review, 62(5), 777–795.

    Google Scholar 

  • Calvert, R. (1995). Rational actors, equilibrium, and social institutions. In J. Knight & I. Sened (Eds.), Explaining social institutions. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Coase, R. H. (1937). The theory of the firm. Economica, 4(16), 386–405.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Crawford, S. E. S., & Ostrom, E. (1995). A grammar of institutions. The American Political Science Review, 89(3), 582–600.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Darwin, C. (1976). On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life (6th edn.). Norwalk: Easton Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayek, F. A. (1979). Law, legislation and liberty : Vol. 3. The political order of a free people. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayek, F. A. (1988). The fatal conceit: the errors of socialism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiser, L., & Ostrom, E. (1982). The three worlds of action, a metatheoretical synthesis of institutional approaches. In E. Ostrom (Ed.), Strategies of political inquiry. Beverly Hills: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lamarck, J.-B. (2006). Philosophie zoologique. New York: Bill Huth Publishing (trans. Zoological philosophy, an exposition with regard to the natural history of animals) [1809, 1st edn.].

    Google Scholar 

  • Munger, M. C. (2000). Five questions: an integrated research agenda for Public Choice. Public Choice, 103, 1–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • North, D. (1990). Institutions, institutional change, and economic performance. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • North, D., Wallis, J., & Weingast, B. (2009). Violence and social orders. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Ostrom, E. (2005). Understanding institutional diversity. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ostrom, E. (2009). Building trust to solve commons dilemmas: taking small steps to test an evolving theory. In S. A. Levin (Ed.), Games, groups, and the global good (pp. 207–228). New York: Springer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Schotter, A. (1981). The economic theory of social institutions. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shepsle, K. (1989). Studying institutions: some lessons from the rational choice approach. Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1, 131–147.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weingast, B. (1995). The economic role of political institutions: market-preserving federalism and economic development. Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, 11(1), 1–31.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael C. Munger.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Munger, M.C. Endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful: Elinor Ostrom and the diversity of institutions. Public Choice 143, 263–268 (2010).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: