In the south Asian context, the key contribution by Elinor Ostrom, along with other scholars (Shivakoti and Ostrom 2002) has been to provide effective empirical understanding of the performance of different types of irrigation institutional arrangements, along with a theoretical understanding of how these systems work. She demonstrated the importance of involving farmer-users in the design and management of irrigation systems for successful local resource management policies in Nepal. Work in Asia had amply demonstrated that large, centralised and essentially top-down government management systems tended to underperform, with lower rates of return on investment than systems where incentives to engineers were aligned to those of local farmer-users with their active participation (Wade 1982; Lam 1995; Ostrom 2002). Several Indian scholars have been inspired by Ostrom’s work to study issues of collective action and governance of common property resources, and to search for alternative frameworks for understanding how best to manage such resources which are often vital to the very existence of rural livelihoods in India. A large body of literature exists in India on the contributions of common property resources or CPRs as they are commonly labelled. The National Sample Survey too devoted a special round (54th round) to the de jure and de facto existence and contributions of CPRs in India, particularly in terms of their provisioning services such as fuel-wood, fodder and non-timber forest products from forests. Her work and that following hers in south Asia and elsewhere has found that institutions for collective action can emerge in rural societies characterised by inequality, prior history and poor implementation of centrally determined legal structures. Village society was often able to accept some amount of inequality, overlook prior history and agree on common norms of behaviour to solve the problems of the commons.
Several scholars from south Asia benefited from visiting the “Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis”, which Ostrom established in 1973, along with her husband Vincent, a political scientist at the Indiana University Bloomington. Over time, the Workshop has turned out to be an extraordinary forum for productive deliberations from evolving associations of students and professors thereby producing a wealth of theory, empirical studies and experiments at the interface of political economy, social anthropology, economics, political science, and policy studies thereby further enriching the interdisciplinary discourse of collective action. Quite a few of the research students of Ostrom have visited Indian institutes (Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) in Delhi, being one of the prominent ones) and have worked with Indian scholars, thereby resulting in further exchanges. Ostrom herself has visited academic institutions in India a few times, the most recent visit being at the IEG in October 2008, providing the researchers the intellectual space to discuss and debate design issues in moving from models of governance of local to global commons.
Elinor Ostrom and the Future of Economics
Vincent and Elinor Ostrom and public ownership of natural resources
Podcast: Elinor Ostrom Checks In
A Case Study for Elinor Ostrom's 2009 Nobel Speech?
The Significance of Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel
Books vs Articles: The Flaying of Elinor Ostrom;
Her important book that was key to her prize, Governing the Commons, 1990, has been riduculed because presumably unlike an article in the AER, it did not go through a "peer review" process
Elinor Ostrom on the Market, the State, and the Third Sector
The Ostrom Nobel
An institutional economics prize
Ostrom and Williamson get the Riksbank
What this Nobel prize means
Rethinking Institutional Analysis: Interviews with Vincent and Elinor Ostrom
Elinor Ostrom and the well-governed commons
Elinor Ostrom - Nobel Laureate 2009
Ostrom on institutions: complex solutions can spontaneously emerge
Congratulations to Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson;
Congratulations go out to Elinor Ostrom, co-author of The Samaritan’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Development Aid (OUP, 2005) and Oliver Williamson, author of The Mechanisms of Governance (OUP, 1999), Organization Theory: From Chester Barnard to the Present and Beyond, 2nd Edition (OUP, 1995), and The Nature of the Firm: Origins, Evolution, and Development (OUP, 1993).
See the world like Elinor Ostrom
To see the world more like Elinor Ostrom is to be guided less by ideology and more by the contours of the situation — to use the right institutional tool for the job. “[N]ational governments,” Ostrom tells us, “are too small to govern the global commons and too big to handle smaller scale problems.”
Skyhooks versus Cranes: The Nobel Prize for Elinor Ostrom;
To understand BOTH why we don’t need police officers in some cases AND why police officers don’t follow the rules in other cases, we have to expand models of human preferences to include a contingent taste for punishing others. In reaching this conclusion, she arrived at a point similar to that reached by Avner Greif (whom the Nobel committee correctly cites.)
Princeton’s Dixit Discusses Nobel for Ostrom, Williamson: Audio