Free Market or State? Nobel Economist Says Answer Can Be Both |

Free Market or State? Nobel Economist Says Answer Can Be Both

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Free-market fundamentalism may be in retreat as the state’s guiding hand regains post-crisis favour, but neither extreme necessarily offers the most efficient way to manage economic resources, according to Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel prize-winning economist. Often, the neatest solution comes from a messy combination of both, she said in a lecture.

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Contemporary research on the outcomes of diverse institutional arrangements for governing common-pool resources (CPRs) and public goods at multiple scales builds on classical economic theory while developing new theory to explain phenomena that do not fit in a dichotomous world of “the market” and “the state”. Scholars are slowly shifting from positioning simple systems to using more complex frameworks, theories, and models to understand the diversity of puzzles and problems facing humans interacting in contemporary societies. The humans we study have complex motivational structures and establish diverse private-for-profit, governmental, and community institutional arrangements that operate at multiple scales to generate productive and innovative as well as destructive and perverse outcomes (Douglass C. North 1990, 2005). In this lecture, I will describe the intellectual journey that I have taken the last half century from when I began graduate studies in the late 1950s.

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Prof. Elinor Ostrom, Li Ka Shing Eminent Visitor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy; Distinguished Professor, Indiana University, Bloomington and Nobel Memorial Prize Laureate in 2009 (Economic Sciences)

Friday, 20 August 2010
5.15 p.m. - 6.30 p.m.

Auditorium, Level 3, Block B, Faculty of Law,
NUS Bukit Timah Campus
469G Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259776

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