Nobel Prize for Economics to Elinor Ostrom: Tragedy of the Commons R.I.P.

, by On the Commons

The biggest roadblock standing in the way of many people’s recognition of the importance of the commons came tumbling down this week when Indiana University professor Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize for economics.

Over many decades Ostrom has documented how various communities manage common resources – grazing lands, forests, irrigation waters, fisheries— equitably and sustainably over the long term. The Nobel Committee’s recognition of her work effectively debunks popular theories about the Tragedy of the Commons, which hold that private property is the only effective method to prevent finite resources from being ruined or depleted. Read more here and here.