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The Elinor Ostrom Prize Competition

Elinor Ostrom Prize

E Ostrom

A prize of £1000 is awarded each year for the best full-length article published in the Journal of Institutional Economics in the preceding calendar year.

Each annual prize competition will be judged by an international committee of experts in the field of institutional research. The award is funded by the Foundation for European Economic Development. Approval to use the Ostrom name has been obtained from the Indiana University Foundation.

2018 Elinor Ostrom Prize

The award for the 2018 Elinor Ostrom Prize was made at the fifth WINIR Conference in Hong Kong. The winner of the 2018 Elinor Ostrom Prize is:

  • Avner Greif and Joel Mokyr, “Cognitive rules, institutions and economic growth: Douglass North and beyond” - JOIE Issue 13(1), March 2017.

A statement from the the winners, Avner Grief and Joel Mokyr, is available to read online here.

The following five papers were shortlisted:

  • Benito Arruñada, “Property as sequential exchange: The forgotten limits of private contract” - JOIE Issue 13(2), June 2017.
  • Michael Bleaney and Arcangelo Dimico, “Ethnic diversity and conflict” - JOIE Issue 13(2), June 2017.
  • Daniel Cole, “Law, norms, and the ‘Institutions Analysis and Development’ framework” - JOIE Issue 13(4), December 2017.
  • Avner Greif and Joel Mokyr, “Cognitive rules, institutions and economic growth: Douglass North and beyond” - JOIE Issue 13(1), March 2017.
  • Hilton Root, “Network assemblage of regime stability and resilience: comparing Europe and China” - JOIE Issue 13(3), September 2017.

Access the shortlisted papers for free here.

2017 Elinor Ostrom Prize

The award for the 2017 Elinor Ostrom Prize was made at the fourth WINIR Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands. The winner of the 2017 Elinor Ostrom Prize is:

Agnès Labrousse, “Not By Technique Alone: A Methodological Comparison of Development Analysis with Esther Duflo and Elinor Ostrom”, JOIE 12(2): 277-303.

The following papers were shortlisted:

  • Deirdre Nansen McCloskey, “Max U vs. humanomics: a critique of neo-institutionalism” - JOIE Issue 12(1), March 2016.
  • Agnès Labrousse, “Not by technique alone. A methodological comparison of development analysis with Esther Duflo and Elinor Ostrom” - JOIE Issue 12(2), June 2016.
  • Viktor Vanberg, “Competitive federalism, government’s dual role, and the power to tax” - JOIE Issue 12(4), December 2016.

In addition, the above Labrousse essay won the 2016 Kapp Prize. See http://eaepe.org/

2016 Elinor Ostrom Prize 

The 2016 Elinor Ostrom Prize winner announced at the Third WINIR Conference in Boston, US was Roger Koppl, Stuart Kauffman, Teppo Felin, and Giuseppe Longo (2015), “Economics for a creative world", JOIE 11(1): 1-31.


The following papers were shortlisted:


Roger Koppl, Stuart Kauffman, Teppo Felin, and Giuseppe Longo, “Economics for a creative world” - JOIE Issue 11(1), March 2015. 

Ugo Pagano and Massimiliano Vatiero, “Costly institutions as substitutes: Novelty and limits of the Coasian approach” - JOIE Issue 11(2), June 2015.


Frank Hindriks and Francesco Guala, “Institutions, rules, and equilibria: A unified theory” - JOIE Issue 11(3), September 2015. 

Giovanni Dosi and Luigi Marengo, “The dynamics of organizational structures and performances under diverging distributions of knowledge and different power structures” - JOIE Issue 11(3), September 2015.

Cass R. Sunstein and Reid Hastie, “Garbage in, garbage out? Some micro sources of macro errors” - JOIE Issue 11(3), September 2015.


2015 Elinor Ostrom Prize


The award for the 2015 Elinor Ostrom Prize was made at the WINIR Conference on 12 September 2015 in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

The winner of the 2015 Elinor Ostrom Prize was:

Daniel H. Cole, Graham Epstein and Michael McGinnis “Digging deeper into Hardin’s pasture: The complex institutional structure of the ‘tragedy of the commons – JOIE Issue 10(3), September 2014.

The jury for the 2015 Elinor Ostrom Prize competition consisted of Bruno Amable, Christopher Coyne, David Dequech, Thrainn Eggertsson, Will Milberg, Ugo Pagano, and Malcolm Rutherford. They selected the best full-length article published in the Journal of Institutional Economics in 2014.

The following papers were shortlisted:

  • John Buchanan, Dominic Chai and Simon Deakin, “Empirical analysis of legal institutions and institutional change: multiple-methods approaches and their application to corporate governance research” – JOIE Issue 10(1) March 2014.
  • Xavier Hollandts and Virgile Chassignon, “Who are the owners of the firm: shareholders, employees or no-one?” – JOIE Issue 10(1), March 2014.
  • Juha Hiedanpää and Daniel W. Bromley, “Payments for environmental services: Durable habits, dubious nudges, doubtful efficacy” – JOIE Issue 10(2), June 2014.
  • Daniel H. Cole, Graham Epstein and Michael McGinnis, “Digging Deeper into Hardin’s Pasture: The Complex Institutional Structure of the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’” – JOIE Issue 10(3), September 2014.
  • Valentin Seidler, “When do institutional transfers work? The relation between institutions, culture and the transplant effect: the case of Bornu in north-eastern Nigeria.” – JOIE Issue 10(3), September 2014.


2014 Elinor Ostrom Prize

The first Elinor Ostrom Prize 2014 for the best full-length article published in the Journal of Institutional Economics in 2013 was awarded at the conference of the World Interdisciplinary Network for Institutional Research, in Greenwich, London, UK on 11-14 September 2014.

The 2014 Elinor Ostrom Prize was awarded to Fabio Landini for his article “Institutional change and information production” – JOIE Issue 9(3), September 2013.

The following papers were shortlisted:

· Richard Grabowski, “The formation of growth coalitions: The role of the rural sector” – JOIE Issue 9(3), September 2013.

· Francisco Beltrán Tapia, “Enclosing literacy? Common lands and human capital in Spain, 1860-1930” – JOIE Issue 9(4), December 2013.

· Stefan Voigt, "How (not) to measure institutions" – JOIE Issue 9(1), March 2013.

Journal of Institutional Economics
  • ISSN: 1744-1374 (Print), 1744-1382 (Online)
  • Frequency: 6 issues per year
Institutions are the stuff of social and economic life. The importance of understanding the role of institutions in economic growth is now widely appreciated. The Journal of Institutional Economics is devoted to the study of the nature, role and evolution of institutions in the economy, including firms, states, markets, money, households and other vital institutions and organisations. It welcomes contributions by all schools of thought that can contribute to our understanding of the features, development and functions of real world economic institutions and organisations.

The Journal of Institutional Economics is an interdisciplinary journal that is of interest to all academics working in the social sciences, particularly in economics and business studies. Contributions from politics, geography, anthropology, sociology and philosophy are also welcomed. The Journal of Institutional Economics aims to provide all authors with an expert verdict on their articles within fifty days of submission.