Elinor Ostrom, lead principal investigator for SANREM’s Phase III Long-term Research Award 1, has won the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics for her work on how community institutions can prevent conflict. In announcing the award October 12, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cited Ostrom “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons.”
Ostrom, pictured at right with lead PIs Alex Travis, Corinne Valdivia, Jeff Alwang, and Manuel Reyes, is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for economics in its 40-year history. Her SANREM CRSP research is related; she is examining how alternative forest management policies and governance regulations in developing countries affect the livelihoods of local forest users and protect the forests. SANREM research shows that government policy reforms such as decentralization do not automatically translate into new property rights for forest users or show clear benefits to the environment.