There’s been plenty of debate about the first female recipient of the Nobel prize for economics, Elinor Ostrom.
Now one of my favourite economists, Paul Romer, has written a perceptive blog post about her work, and what it tells us about the modern practice of social sciences:
Most economists think that they are building cranes that suspend important theoretical structures from a base that is firmly grounded in first principles. In fact, they almost always invoke a skyhook, some unexplained result without which the entire structure collapses. Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics because she works from the ground up, building a crane that can support the full range of economic behavior. Continue reading