Daniel Cole in The Guardian:
Elinor Ostrom, who has died of pancreatic cancer aged 78, was the first and only woman to win the Nobel prize for economics. She received the award, shared with Oliver E Williamson, in 2009 for her analyses of how individuals and communities can often manage common resources – ranging from irrigation and fisheries to information systems – as well or better than markets, companies or the state. Earlier this year, she appeared on Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Lin, as she was known to friends, family and colleagues – of whom I was one – was born in Los Angeles and attended Beverly Hills high school. After completing her doctorate in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1965 – a time when it was still rare for women to hold advanced degrees, let alone tenured positions, in the social sciences – she moved, with her husband, the political theorist Vincent Ostrom, to Bloomington, Indiana, where Lin was initially hired as a visiting assistant professor at Indiana University. The couple remained at the university for the rest of their long and productive careers. Her work was for a long time considered far outside the mainstream of American political science.