Fraser Institute News Release: New essay celebrates key ideas and contributions of economist and Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A new essay—part of a new book that examines the lives and ideas of women who helped shape the free and prosperous societies we enjoy today—examines the key insights of Elinor Ostrom, the first woman awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.

Published by the Fraser Institute, the Essential Women of Liberty is accompanied by a website and animated videos spotlighting Ostrom and other remarkable women.

“Ostrom’s insights and research strongly influenced the study of politics and how institutions helped shape economic behaviour in the 20th century and beyond,” said essay author Jayme Lemke, an economist at George Mason University.

Born in Los Angeles in 1933, Ostrom completed her PhD in political science at UCLA in 1965, despite opposition from contemporaries who disapproved of women in postgraduate studies.

Ostrom is best known for her research on local problem solving and how to manage resources shared by different groups and people yet not owned by anyone—also known as “common pool resources.” This area of analysis, where she made enormous contributions, would shape her entire academic career.

Her focus on problem solving at the local level led to her 1990 book Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collection Action, which documents how people around the world use self-governing mechanisms to manage and sustain shared resources such as fresh water, forests and fish populations.

In 2009, she became the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in economics. She died in 2012 at age 78.

The Fraser Institute will release the complete Essential Women of Liberty essay series on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2022). Download the essays for free and view several short videos at Videos are also available on the Fraser Institute’s YouTube channel.

To arrange interviews or for more information, please contact:
Mark Hasiuk, Senior Media Relations Specialist @ (604) 688-0221 ext. 517 or [email protected]

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

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