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    LABROUSSE, AGNÈS 2016. Not by technique alone. A methodological comparison of development analysis with Esther Duflo and Elinor Ostrom. Journal of Institutional Economics, Vol. 12, Issue. 02, p. 277.

    MURTAZASHVILI, ILIA and MURTAZASHVILI, JENNIFER 2016. The origins of private property rights: states or customary organizations?. Journal of Institutional Economics, Vol. 12, Issue. 01, p. 105.

    SKARBEK, EMILY C. 2016. Aid, ethics, and the Samaritan's dilemma: strategic courage in constitutional entrepreneurship. Journal of Institutional Economics, Vol. 12, Issue. 02, p. 371.

    Boettke, Peter J. Lemke, Jayme S. and Palagashvili, Liya 2015. Polycentricity, Self-governance, and the Art & Science of Association. The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 28, Issue. 3, p. 311.


Riding in cars with boys: Elinor Ostrom's adventures with the police

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  • Published online: 01 May 2013

More than 40 years ago, Elinor Ostrom began her adventures with the police. In order to combat the conventional view that ‘bigger means better’, Ostrom pioneered a fieldwork-based framework for measuring police services that utilized consumer surveys and thereby created a community-centered model of analysis for public services. In this paper, we contend that although Ostrom's career demonstrated the importance of employing multiple methods, her most enduring contributions and legacy came from on-the-ground research. Her case studies and fieldwork proved to be necessary for examining complex systems beyond the state–market dichotomy, and these methods of analysis should be defended as critical for inquiry into the variety of institutional arrangements.

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P. Aligica and P. Boettke (2011), ‘Two Social Philosophies of the Ostroms’ Institutionalism’, Policy Studies Journal, 39 (1): 2949.

P. Boettke (2010), ‘Is the Only Form of ‘Reasonable Regulation’ Self-Regulation? Lessons From Lin Ostrom on Regulating the Commons and Cultivating Citizens’, Public Choice, 143 (3–4): 283291.

P. Boettke and C. Coyne (2005), ‘Methodological Individualism, Spontaneous Order and the Research Program of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis’, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 57 (2): 145158.

P. Boettke , C. Coyne, and P. Leeson (2011), ‘Quasimarket Failure’, Public Choice, 149 (1–2): 209224.

R. Herzberg and B. Allen (2012), ‘Elinor Ostrom (1933–2012)’, Public Choice, 153 (3–4): 263268.

G. Hodgson (2005), ‘Generalizing Darwinism to Social Evolution: Some Early Attempts,’ Journal of Economic Issues, 39 (4): 899914.

E. Ostrom (1990), Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

E. Ostrom (2010), ‘Beyond Market and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems’, American Economic Review, 100: 641672.

E. Ostrom (2011), ‘Honoring James Buchanan’, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 80: 370373.

E. Ostrom , R. Parks, and G. Whitaker (1973b), ‘Do We Really Want to Consolidate Urban Police Forces? A Reappraisal of Some Old Assertions’, Public Administration Review, 33 (5): 423432.

V. Ostrom , C. Tiebout, and R. Warren (1961), ‘The Organization of Government in Metropolitan Areas’, American Political Science Review, 55: 831842. Reprinted in Michael McGinnis (ed.), Polycentricity and Local Public Economies, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1999.

E. Ostrom and G. Whitaker (1973), ‘Does Local Community Control of Police make a Difference?’, American Journal of Political Science, 17 (1): 4876. Reprinted in Michael McGinnis, ed., Polycentricity and Local Public Economies, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1999.

R. Parks (1985), ‘Metropolitan Structure and Systemic Performance: The Case of Police Service Delivery’, in K. Hanf and T. Toonen (eds.), Policy Implementation in Federal and Unitary Systems, Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, pp. 161191.

H. A. Simon (1990), ‘Invariants of Human Behavior’, Annual Review of Psychology, 41: 119.

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Journal of Institutional Economics
  • ISSN: 1744-1374
  • EISSN: 1744-1382
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-institutional-economics
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