Elinor Ostrom

A Fabulous Female

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Elinor "Lin" Ostrom was born on August 7, 1933 and died on June 12, 2012. Elinor was born an only child and her parents were Leah and Adrian Awan. Ostrom graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1951 and went on to receive a PhD in political science from UCLA. She is worldly known for her advances and discoveries involving the political economy. She was a political scientist who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Although she had to share the prize with Oliver E. Williamson, she made the best of it by being supportive and friendly to Oliver and his family. Ostrom won the prize for her "analysis of economic governance, especially the commons"(Elinor Ostrom).


Elinor Ostrom played a huge role involving Indiana University where she and her husband founded the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Elinor also published many books which discussed the fields of organizational theory, political science, and public administration. One example of a book written by Ostrom is "Governing the Commons". This book was published in 1990 and enlightened the world about policy analysis. Ostrom provides an interesting body of data to explore conditions under which common pool resource problems have been correctly or incorrectly solved. Not only did she provide a unique book about common resource problems, but she intrigued the people with her incredible writing skills. Elinor also contributed to helping with new irrigation systems in Africa and western Nepal. This helped to further modern technology in those areas, leading to a more advanced and modern civilization.


Elinor Ostrom has not only changed the way people in America think, but she has changed the way that the entire world sees things. Her contributions in other countries like Nepal have helped people who are rich, poor, homeless, or even starving. As you can see, she is a paternalistic leader who respects and enjoys the people she helps and will do what it takes to get them what they need. An example is when she helped the village in Africa. Ostrom brought water to people who would have possibly died due to dehydration, which is proof that she wants to help everybody she meets. Unfortunately, Elinor died in 2012 due to pancreatic cancer, but her practices and longtime wisdom will never be forgotten.


"Elinor Ostrom." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Biography in Context. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

Wayne, Tiffany K. "Women in Economics." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.