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Tragedy of the Commons

  Little is known about Elinor Olstrom, beyond those that have studied public sector Economics or Welfare Economics. And perhaps if Mrs. Olstrom had her own way, she would have remained the obscure dutiful wife for her university professor husband Vincent Olstrom. A bespectacled, soft spoken political scientist, Mrs. Olstrom is now famous for having been the first woman to win the Nobel prize in Economics in 2009, for her work in helping understand the working of the “Commons”. It has been said about Olstrom, that she only seriously got into academia as a “pastime” to support her husband who himself was a distinguished academic. Yet in her work to try and develop on previous studies done around how communities rationalize common resources, be they grazing grounds, watering holes or public amenities, she ended up achieving groundbreaking acclaim. The concept around “Tragedy of the Commons” is simple enough. It seeks to find ways in which communities can work together to preserve ame

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