12 October 2009, No. 32/2009

Two Humboldtians receive the Nobel Prize for Economics

This year's Nobel Prize for Economics is shared by the Reimar Lüst Award winner Elinor Ostrom and the Humboldt Research Award winner Oliver E. Williamson.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation congratulates Professor Dr. Elinor Ostrom and Professor Dr. Oliver Williamson on being granted the Nobel Prize for Economics. A total of 43 academics from the Humboldt Network have now been awarded the Nobel Prize. Elinor Ostrom is not only the first woman to have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics but the first female Humboldtian ever to receive the Nobel Prize.

Elinor Ostrom is a Professor of Politics at Indiana University in Bloomington, USA. Using an interdisciplinary approach she has become one of the world’s leading scholars in the field of institutional analysis, specialising in the use of collective goods. Ostrom has been responsible for inviting many German guest researchers to the USA in the context of an exchange programme she established. In May of this year she was awarded the Remiar Lüst Award for International Scholarly and Cultural Exchange, which is granted jointly by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. The Lüst Award winner will now continue a joint research project she had started with Konrad Hagedorn from Berlin’s Humboldt University in the context of the TransCoop Programme, with Michael Kirk of the University of Marburg.

Oliver Williamson is an Emeritus Professor of Business, Economics, and Law at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Already in 1987 he was awarded the Humboldt Research Award for his ground-breaking achievements in the field of institutional economics. The consequent research visit to Germany took him to the Saarland University in 1991, where he worked alongside Rudolf Richter. In the coming year he is planning a further stay in Germany. In his role as a host, Williamson also supervises the Humboldt Foundation’s German Feodor Lynen fellows in the USA.

“We are extremely pleased that this year’s Nobel Prize for Economics has been awarded to two eminent researchers who have already received an award from the Humboldt Foundation and are therefore part of the global Humboldt network. This is also an affirmation of the work of the Foundation. Academic excellence is our most important selection criterion. Accordingly, the Humboldt Foundation’s fellowships and awards repeatedly attract leading academics to work in Germany”, said Dr. Georg Schütte, Secretary General of the Humboldt Foundation.

For further information please contact Konrad Hagedorn and Michael Kirk:
Prof. Dr. Konrad Hagedorn, Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Tel. 030/ 2093-6305 or 030/ 7218856
Prof. Dr. Michael Kirk, Universität Marburg, Tel. 06421/ 28-23731

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 1,900 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 23,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in 130 countries worldwide – including 43 Nobel Prize winners.


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