Economics PhD candidates (likely most of these are at the best schools) are saying silly things about the Ostrom/Williamson (mostly Ostrom) Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Here are my favorites from Economics Job Market Rumors (don't follow the link if you are offended by potty mouth; apparently, PhD candidates at the top schools use profanity when they are angry):
- Multidisciplinary?? Other disciplines are all rubblish. Why let them conteminate (sic) our purity?
I need a shower.
- Never heard of Ostrom in my life. Lame.
- what the [expletive deleted] is "land economics"?
- The fact that most of us have not heard about her says enough about her contributions.
- The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is not a Nobel Prize.
- I taught environmental economics once. Her work is mentioned in the sections on public goods and tragedy of the commons stuff, particularly with fisheries. Krugman notes that this is a win given for new institutional economics, and I think that's the common thread between her work and Williamson. In my memory from the environmental economics, some of what Ostrom and her colleagues had been doing was trying to understand why in some areas, over-fishing occurred but in others it didn't, even though technically in both situations, the incentives for the tragedy of the commons outcomes was present. I have this memory, but don't have my Tienteberg textbook here to check, that she argued that there was an enforcement mechanism that discouraged over-harvesting when the fishermen were part of the same community, but not when they were part of different communities.
Hat tip: Aguanomics