The Elinor Ostrom Prize has been established in honour of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012), who was an enormously creative scholar and an outstanding pioneer of the interdisciplinary field of institutional research.*

Her most famous work focused on the problem of managing and maintaining common-pool resources, but she also applied her ideas to problems of political governance and climate change. Her theoretical work on rules is of paramount importance. In her last decade she became increasingly interested in how rule-systems (or institutions) evolve. Her articles published in JOIE are among the journal's most-cited papers.

A prize of £1000, funded by Millennium Economics Ltd. (the owner of JOIE), is awarded each year for the best full-length article published in JOIE in the preceding calendar year. Each annual prize competition will be judged by an international committee of experts in the field of institutional research.

Abigail Devereaux and Linan Peng, “Give Us a Little Social Credit: To Design or To Discover Personal Ratings in the Era of Bg Data", JOIE 16(3): 369-387.

David Ciepley, “The Anglo-American Misconception of Stockholders as ‘Owners’ and ‘Members’: Its Origins and Consequences”, JOIE 16(5): 623-642.

The award was announced on 7 August 2021, on Elinor Ostrom's birthday.

2021 Ostrom Prize Committee: Richard Adelstein, Elodie Bertrand, Daniel Cole, Christopher Coyne, David Dequech, Brett Frischmann, Sophia du Plessis, Thráinn Eggertsson, Roger Koppl, Michael McGinnis, Sheilagh Ogilvie, Edella Schlager, Mary Shirley and Irene van Staveren.

Elise S. Brezis and Joël Cariolle, “The Revolving Door, State Connections and Inequality of Influence in the Financial Sector", JOIE 15(4): 595-614.

The award was announced on 7 August 2020, on Elinor Ostrom's birthday.

2020 Ostrom Prize Committee: Elodie Bertrand, Federica Carugati, Christopher Coyne, David Dequech and Thráinn Eggertsson.

Robbert Maseland, “Is Colonialism History? The Declining Impact of Colonial Legacies on African Institutional and Economic Development”, JOIE 14(2): 258-287. 

Colin Harris, “Institutional Solutions to Free-Riding in Peer-to-Peer Networks: A Case Study of Online Pirate Communities”, JOIE 14(5): 901-924. 

The award was made at the Sixth WINIR Conference in Lund, Sweden.

2019 Ostrom Prize Committee: Elodie Bertrand, Federica Carugati, Christopher Coyne, David Dequech and Thráinn Eggertsson.

Avner Greif and Joel Mokyr, “Cognitive Rules, Institutions and Economic Growth: Douglass North and Beyond”, JOIE 13(1): 25-52.

The award was made at the Fifth WINIR Conference in Hong Kong, China.

2018 Ostrom Prize Committee: Christopher Coyne, David Dequech, Thráinn Eggertsson and Will Milberg.

Read the statement by Professors Avner Greif and Joel Mokyr here.

Agnès Labrousse, “Not By Technique Alone: A Methodological Comparison of Development Analysis with Esther Duflo and Elinor Ostrom”, JOIE 12(2): 277-303.

The award was made at the Fourth WINIR Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands.

2017 Ostrom Prize Committee: Christopher Coyne, David Dequech, Thráinn Eggertsson, Will Milberg and Malcolm Rutherford.

Roger Koppl, Stuart Kauffman, Teppo Felin, and Giuseppe Longo (2015), “Economics for a Creative World", JOIE 11(1): 1-31.

The award was made at the Third WINIR Conference in Boston, USA.

2016 Ostrom Prize Committee: Bruno Amable, Christopher Coyne, David Dequech, Thráinn Eggertsson, William Milberg and Malcolm Rutherford.

Daniel H. Cole, Graham Epstein and Michael McGinnis (2014), “Digging Deeper into Hardin’s Pasture: The Complex Institutional Structure of the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’", JOIE 10(3): 353-369.

The award was made at the Second WINIR Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2015 Ostrom Prize Committee: Bruno Amable, Christopher Coyne, David Dequech, Thráinn Eggertsson, William Milberg, Ugo Pagano and Malcolm Rutherford.

Fabio Landini, "Institutional Change and Information Production", JOIE 9(3): 257-284.

The award was made at the conference dinner of the Inaugural WINIR Conference in London, UK.

2014 Ostrom Prize Committee: Masahiko Aoki, Timur Kuran, Ugo Pagano, Mary Shirley and Ulrich Witt.


* Approval to use the Ostrom name has been obtained from the Indiana University Foundation.